I'm pretty confused so please help. I know the pentatonic scale and i can improvise well on it and it sounds very bluesy. but is it blues? do you have to use the blues scale to play blues? and also if im playing with a blues backing track that is in E, do i have to play in E? and why? And what does it mean when a back track is in E? If one is in another letter like G, do i have to play in G?

Thank you
The Minor Pentatonic with the flat 5th is the backbone of most blues solos. However, blues is not just one scale over one type of progression. Blues is more of a certain type of feeling or emotion that is put the music.

Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn both played blues, but both were very different. Each player gives the blues a different feel and that is what makes it unique.

As for the rest of your questons, no you don't have to play the blues scale to play the blues, you can use the major scales and many of the scales found in jazz and still achieve a bluesy sound. If you are playing to a backing track in the key of E, you do not necesarily have to play in the E pentatonic scale but to do otherwise you would be playing with modes, among other things. A basic guideline for all of this is that as long as it sounds good to your ear, it is cool no matter what crazy scale you are playing. When a backing track is in E it means that the song is in the key of E, or that the chords that will be played will be based off of the E major scale.

the same thing applies to a song in G. All of this is very theory based, and I dont know how deep into theory you have gone but for example, in the key of G major you can play a solo in the E minor pentatonic because E minor is the relative minor of G major.

Here is another piece of advice. You have to learn all of the rules of music, and learn them untill they become second nature and you don't have to think about them. Once you have learned them, break them, go against those conventions and you will be inovative.

Most importantly, if it sounds good to you, it is good.
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I think this forum is for new members' questions about the site. You'll have better luck with this question in Musician Talk.

For now, for the sake of simplicity, play in E minor pentatonic if the music is in E, G minor pentatonic if in G, and so on. When in doubt, always play what sounds right.

Blues is characterized by using certain out-of-key notes (minor third, flat fifth, minor seventh) over major-key chord progressions. If you don't know what that means, read this.


There's a lot of information there and it's difficult for a lot of people to grasp, but it's very useful. People in the Musician Talk forum will be glad to help.