Learning The Minor Blues Scale - Building Technique

Anyone serious about guitar scales mastery needs to learn the minor blues scale. It is an essential scale that is widely used in many blues, rock, fusion and jazz guitar solos. In an earlier guitar lesson on understanding blues scales I talked about the theory behind the minor blues scale. For this lesson we'll focus on the fun stuff…

Building Technique!

All the music theory in the world won't help you unless you can physically play a scale fluently. And that is what this lesson will do…help you gain a technical mastery of the minor blues scale. But before I give you a really cool exercise to help your technique, let's take a look at the fingering we'll master. It's for the A Minor Blues scale, which uses the notes A C D Eb E and G

A Minor Blues Scale Fingering:

A Minor Blues Scale Fingering

You've probably come across this fingering before. It's an extremely useful one! If you don't know it, then please take some time to memorize it now. Once you've memorized it, you're ready for the actual guitar scale exercise itself…

A Minor Blues Scale Exercise:

A Minor Blues Scale Exercise

Play this exercise using alternate picking, and be sure to pay careful attention to the numbers under the TAB. (These numbers tell you what fingers to use)…

 Please play through the exercise a few times now. What do you notice about it?

One of the main things that you need to notice is the fact that the exercise uses a melodic pattern (Some guitarists call this a sequential pattern). A melodic pattern is when you take a melodic motif (idea) and move it through a scale in a systematic way. In the scale exercise above there is a 6-note melodic motif that I move through the scale. The motif is repeated six times before we finish the exercise on an A note. Play the exercise again to see what I mean.

Don't panic if what I've said doesn't make sense right now. You don't need to understand the exercise in order to benefit from it. Just practice and master the exercise and enjoy the technique that you'll develop!

That's all from me for now. Practice hard, and have fun!

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