GUITAR SOLOING 007: Often Overlooked Blues Scale Application

September 01, 2017:
Lesson 007 - Often Overlooked Blues Scale Application

Blues scale is generally applied over 8 and 12-bar blues progressions. While this is standard application of the Blues scale, it is also not uncommon for Blues scale to be used over other harmonies as well... 

Since the sound of Blues scale is based upon the foundation of a Minor Pentatonic it can be used over a great many other chord harmonies.

Watch the Part One Video FREE on YouTube:

PART ONE:  In example one, the Blues scale is applied over a "C Minor" chord vamp. A Rock perspective is first demonstrated in the video lesson. However, the sound of the solo example could also be applied to other music styles, such as Funk or R&B. In this first example, the Blues scale demonstrates how a strong resolution can occur by targeting the lowered 3rd of the key of "C Minor" harmony, (Eb).

Example two focuses on the application of "Altered Dominant" sounds. This occurs in a harmony when the dominant 7th chord is highlighted by intervals of "#9 or b5." In example two the "#9" altered tone is added to a "C7" chord. This chord retains the lowered 7th and major 3rd of the Dominant 7th harmony. However, the addition of the "#9" adds the equivalent interval of a "Minor 3rd." This interval is already within the Blues scale allowing the notes to blend smoothly with the underlying harmony.

PART TWO: In example three, Dorian mode blending with the Blues scale is the focus. This key of "E Dorian Mode" chord progression offers the chance to not only produce an opportunity for Dorian's Major 6th, but also allow for the Blues Scale to highlight Dorian modes Minor harmony. The example showcases Dorian's minor color combined with the Blues scales unique diminished 5th. The guitar solo in this example demonstrates how both scales can work together to produce interesting melodies.

Example four highlights the sound of the Mixolydian mode blended against the intervals of the Blues scale. This example contains a key of "A Mixolydian" Blues-rock progression with a melody that allows for the lowered 7th of the Blues scale to interact with Mixolydian's harmony. Interesting sounds occur between the clashing major and minor 3rd tones. This major /minor effect (combined with the sound of Blues scales diminished 5th) create opportunities for Blues scale that are seldom applied by blending other scale types.

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