Do you want to learn an acoustic Blues Scale on guitar that’s fun, easy, and perfect for beginner guitar players?
Good! Then you’re in the right place. I’m going to show you this easy Blues scale in the key of G. There are 2 parts to the scale, with the 2nd part being optional. Though once you learn the 1st part you’ll be able to handle the 2nd no problem!
The G Blues Scale On Guitar
Blues guitar scales are based on the minor Pentatonic scale. If you already know that one, then this will be a breeze. The only difference between the minor Pentatonic scale and Blues scale is one chromatic note. Check out 1:21 in the video to hear this scale.
Chromatic notes are a sequence of notes that are played in half step intervals (one fret), and aren’t necessarily in a scale. In this scale you play the 3rd, 4th, and 5th frets on the 5th string. These are chromatic since they’re played in one fret intervals without skipping any notes. If we skipped the 4th fret the notes wouldn’t be chromatic.
The G Blues scale starts on a G note (6th string, 3rd fret) and ends on a G an octave up. That’s technically 7 note’s you’re playing, but since the last note is essentially starting the scale over we don’t include it when we say that there are 6 notes in the scale. You'll notice that the fingering I called out uses the 1st finger twice in a row on the 5th string. This is intentional to make the chromatic section much easier to play.
The note that makes this scale a Blues scale instead of a minor Pentatonic scale is the 4th fret on the 5th string. This note is the “Blues note” and makes this scale a Blues scale. Something common in Blues and Jazz is to use a chromatic “passing tone”, also called a passing note. These are chromatic notes that are used to walk up to other notes in the scale. That’s exactly what this note is: a passing tone.
If you were to hang on this note for too long it might sound out of place and too dissonant. But when you use it to walk up to the next note (5th string 5th fret, or the open 4th string) it creates enough tension and dissonance that resolves wonderfully when you get to the next note.
Blues Scale On Guitar Part 2
The 2nd part on this scale adds another octave. The first part we learned was 1 octave. The notes will be exactly the same, just an octave up. That also means the fingering will be slightly different. Jump to 4:57 in the video to hear this.
Once again you'll use your 1st finger twice in a row, this time on the 3rd string.
If the 1st part was really challenging come back to the second part. It’s much easier once you have the 1st part down. Speaking of down, once you get comfortable with this scale going up, start to practice it going back down. Once you’re feeling pretty good about both directions add a metronome in at a slow tempo.
This scale is really useful, and it's also a moveable scale. That means you can use this same "shape" anywhere on the fretboard. The note you start on will be the root.
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