The major blues scale | Jazz guitar lesson with diagrams

E-mail

major blues scale guitarThe major blues scale is one of the most important blues scales that any jazz guitarist must know to master. This is a useful device when you want to improvise over major chord family and give bluesy vibes to your guitar solos.

How to build this scale ?

This is a hexatonic scale, it means that it contains six notes per octaves just as the minor blues scale. In comparison with the major pentatonic scale, there is an additional note between the second (2) and the major third (3). This note is named flat tenth (b10) or flat third (b3) this a blue note. Flat tenth is more appropriate in this harmonic context because a scale can't have two thirds in its composition. Please note that there are three blue notes (b10, b7, b5/#11). 

In brief the major blues scale is made up of : root (1), major second (2), a flat tenth (b10) or minor third (b3), major third (3), fifth (5) and sixth (6).

C major blues scale C D Eb E G A
Formula 1 2 b10 or b3 3 5 6
Intervals W H H W + H W W+H

 

Here is a detailed comparatif table of the major scale, the major pentatonic scale, the major blues scale, the minor pentatonic scale and the minor blues scale :

Major scale 1 2 X 3 4 X 5 6 X 7
Major pentatonic scale 1 2 X 3 X X 5 6 X X
Major blues scale 1 2 b10 or b3 3 X X 5 6 X X
Minor pentatonic scale 1 X b3 X 4 X 5 X b7 X
Minor blues scale 1 X b3 X 4 b5 5 X b7 X

Major blues scale | Guitar diagrams

Here are five guitar positions of the major blues scale. 

The first important thing to do is to locate the root note (R), this is the orange note in the diagram, it will serve as the base for transpose this scale using these diagrams.

You can also locate the blue note (b3) this is the green note in the diagrams. These guitar positions are the same as the major pentatonic scale positions with the blue note added.

Once you have memorized these diagrams you have to transpose them by moving the root on the desired note keeping the same intervals. Indeed, you must play this scale in twelve keys.

Major blues scale guitar fingerings

Major blues scale guitar fingerings 2

Major blues scale guitar fingerings 3

Major blues scale guitar fingerings 4

Major blues scale guitar fingerings 5

  • 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks

    This printable PDF eBook contains 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, analysis & audio files to master the II-V-I sequence both in major and minor keys.
  • 5 Jazz blues arpeggio studies

    Here is a printable PDF eBook with five guitar studies that will help you to master arpeggios over a jazz blues progression. Tabs and standard notation.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings NEW

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 50 exercises with tabs & standard notation to practice the essential jazz guitar chords over the II-V-I progression.
  • 11 blues jazz studies

    This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • Mastering the altered scale

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale.
  • 40 blues jazz guitar licks

    40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.
  • 25 soul jazz guitar licks

    This PDF eBook is about 25 soul jazz guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks. Lessons with tabs, diagrams, backing track & audio files.
  • 25 dominant diminished licks

    This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 25 minor jazz guitar licks

    This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
  • 5 Tritone substitution licks

    The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook

Last edited: 06/03/2017

Add a comment

Incorrect code - please try again.

Welcome,

Enter your email adress to receive the newsletter (no spam)

Icone