The Major Blues Scale | Guitar Lesson with Shapes
What is The Major Blues Scale?
The major blues scale is one of the most important blues scales to know. It is built with root (1), second (2), minor third (b3 - passing tone), major third (3), fifth (5) and sixth (6). The major blues scale is a useful device when you want to improvise over major and dominant chords. It gives bluesy vibes to your guitar solos.
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.
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|
As you see in the shapes below, the major blues scale has a b3 in comparison with the major pentatonic scale. In other words, it's a major pentatonic scale with an additional note.
The two diagrams below show the differences between the minor blues scale and the major blues scale. The minor blues scale interval pattern is 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7. This is a minor pentatonic scale with a b5 between the fourth and the fifth generally employed over minor chords and dom7 chords.
Here is a comparative chart between the major scale, the major pentatonic scale, the major blues scale, the minor pentatonic scale and the minor blues scale :
|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|
The major blues scale can be used over major chords as maj6, maj7, maj9 and maj13. It can also be employed over dominant chords as dom7, dom9, and dom13. Playing a major blues scale over dominant and major chord highlights the 9 and 13.
Here are some guitar shapes to play the major blues scale. The first thing to do is to locate the root note (R), this is the orange note in the diagrams. It gives the tonality and will serve as basis for the transposition of these shapes. The passing tone (b3) is represented in blue.
The first four charts show how to play the major blues scale in positions within the space of one octave.
Here are the five positions of the major blues scale (G) covering the whole guitar neck.
Here are six easy guitar patterns using the A major blues scale (A - B - C - C# - E - F#). Each lick starts on a specific interval of the scale : Root (A), second (B), minor third (C), major third (C#), fifth (E) and sixth (F#).
- Exercise 1: Starting on the root
Exercise 2 : Starting with the second (B)
Exercise 3 : Starting with the minor third (C)
Exercise 4 : Starting with the third (C#)
Exercise 5 : Starting with the fifth (E)
Exercise 6 : Starting with the sixth (F#)
This handbook for guitar players is intended both for guitar teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files related to 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor II V I jazz licks.
This package contains 3 PDF methods for jazz guitarists with tabs, audio files, analysis about the II V I progression.
PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.
Last edited: 03/06/2020