Minor blues scales 1

Three Types Of Minor Blues Scales

Minor blues scalesThe minor blues scale is mostly referred to as the minor pentatonic scale with a b5 thus giving the interval pattern 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7. However, few musicians know that there are three types of minor blues scales depending on wether you incorporate the flat fifth (b5), the major third (3) or the major seventh (7) to the minor pentatonic scale. In this lesson you will learn how to build, play and recognize each of these three minor blues scales.

Minor Blues Scale With a b5

This is the most known and the most used of the minor blues scales. This is simply the minor pentatonic scale with an added b5.

This added note is sometimes reffered to as the blue note and brings a very bluesy sounds to your jazz guitar lines. This minor blues scale is very useful when improvising over jazz blues tunes.

Minor blues scale with b5 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
Minor pentatonic scale 1 b3 4 X 5 b7


Because the minor blues scale with a b5 is similar to the minor pentatonic scale, you can use it over the same types of chords as the minor pentatonic scale :

  • Minor Triad Chords
  • Major Triad Chords
  • Minor 7th chords
  • Dominant 7th chords

Minor Blues Scale Guitar Diagrams

Here are the five modes of the minor blues scale with the blue note (flat five).

Minor Blues Scale With a Major 3rd

The second type is the minor blues scale with a major third (3) between the b3 and the 4. It is spelled 1 - b3 - 3 - 4 - 5 - b7. This is a vey nice choice when you want to play over a dominant 7 chord, indeed the major third fit perfecly with the major 3rd of any dominant 7th chord.

Minor blues scale with 3rd 1 b3 3 4 5 b7
Minor pentatonic scale 1 b3 X 4 5 b7


You can play it over these chords :

  • Major triad chords
  • Dominant 7th chords

 Minor Blues Scale Guitar Diagrams

Here are the five modes of the minor blues scale with the major third.

Minor Blues Scale With a Major Seventh (7)

The last type of minor blue scale is the minor pentatonic scale with a major seventh between the minor seventh (b7) and the root (R). This is not the most employed but it can be interested over dominant 7 and minor 7 chords.

Minor blues scale with seventh 1 b3 4 5 b7 7
Minor pentatonic scale 1 b3 4 5 b7 X


You can use it over these types chords :

  • Minor triad chords
  • Dominant 7th chords
  • Minor 7th chords
  • Minor/major 7 chords

 Minor Blues Scale Guitar Diagrams

Here are the five modes of the minor blues scale with the seventh.

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