The Minor Blues Scale | Guitar Positions and Theory
What's The Minor Blues Scale?
The minor blues scale or "blues scale" or "pentatonic blues scale" contains the same notes as the minor pentatonic scale, including a flat fifth (b5) between the fourth and the sixth referred to as the "blue note".
This is a hexatonic scale meaning that it is made up of six notes just as the major blues scale.
This scale is very popular in jazz music and widely used by legendary jazz guitarists as Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, or Georges Benson.
It's a simple and very effective scale, easy to learn, easy to memorize and very useful when you want to bring bluesy lines to your jazz guitar improvisations.
As previously discussed the minor blues scale contains an additional note in comparison with the minor pentatonic scale. As its name implies the minor pentatonic scale is made up of five notes : root, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth and minor seventh.
So, the minor pentatonic blues scale formula would is root : (1), minor third (b3), fourth (4), flat fifth (b5), fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). The minor third (b3) can be considered as b10 or #9 just as the flat fifth (b5) can be thought as #4 or #11.
|C minor blues scale||C||Eb||F||F#||G||Bb|
|C minor pentatonic scale||C||Eb||F||X||G||Bb|
|Formula||1||b3 (b10 or #9)||4 (11)||b5 (#11 or #4)||5||b7|
Difference Between The Major Blues And Minor Blues Scale
The major blues scale can be seen as the major pentatonic scale with an added note, a b3 between the second and the third. The interval structure is root (1), second (2), minor third (b3), major third (3), fifth (5) and sixth (6) making the major blues scale entirely different from the minor blues scale.
Minor Blues Scale Application
You can apply the minor blues scale over any minor chords and also over dom7 chords for a bluesy sound.
There are three types of minor blues scales depending on the added note. Indeed, there are three blue notes, the major third (3), the flat fifth (b5) and the major seventh (7). It means that you can add one of these three notes to the basic pentatonic scale, thus giving three different minor blues scales:
- One with a major third between the b3 and the 4th.
- One with a flat fifth between the 4th and th 5th.
- One with a major seventh between the b7 and the root.
|Minor blues scale with a major third||1||b3||3||4||5||b7|
|Minor blues scale with a flat fifth||1||b3||4||b5||5||b7|
|Minor blues scale with a major seventh||1||b3||4||5||b7||7|
Here are four easy blues guitar patterns using the A minor blues scale (A - C - D - D# - E - G). The principle is to practice the minor blues scale starting on each tones of the minor pentatonic scale that are root (1), minor third (b3), fourth (4), fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7) keep playing the passing tone (b5) on the and of the beat.
The second line starts on the b3 of Am.
This third lick starts on the 4th of Am.
This fourth pattern starts on the fifth.
And to finish, this last lick starts on the b7 of Am.
The next four minor pentatonic licks show how the minor blues scale sounds with a dom7 chord. These lines can be applied to the first two bars of a classic blues progression in A7
In the next two tabs you see the D minor blues scale applied to the iim chord of major II V I Sequence in C major.
The following guitar study is a Bb jazz blues that demonstrates how to connect the minor blues scale with basic chords.
Two minor blues scales (with a b5) as a passing tone are used here :
- Bb minor blues (Bb - Db - Eb - F - Ab)
- C minor blues (C - Eb - F - G - Bb)
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.
This package contains a guitar method available as a PDF 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