#1
Hey everyone, I've been in a rut over my improvising lately: I can't break out of blues scale when I'm improvising, so all my playing sounds similar. I can't really think of what other scales to learn, any thoughts? I've been playing for about a year, and my theory's pretty good for that level.
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#2
Major and minor, and make sure you understand the scale, know the positions of the notes everywhere on the neck, the relations between the notes, and the relations between the diatonic chords and their function.
#3
Quote by Bluesblitz
I can't really think of what other scales to learn
Really? How about major and minor, as well as their respective pentatonics. Probably the four (well, two) most fundamental scales in modern music.

The blues scale is just a minor pentatonic with a chromatic passing tone, so you probably know that pretty well.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#4
learn other scales--by every possible interval, all over the neck. both know and hear what your playing--dont rely on patterns.
all the best.
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#5
Well, I know major scale, but never really thought to apply it to blues, how might I go about doing this?
Fender American Standard Telecaster
Vox Night Train 15W
An ever-morphing BOSS and MXR loaded pedalboard

"I eats more chicken any man ever seen!"
-Howlin' Wolf
#6
Quote by Bluesblitz
Well, I know major scale, but never really thought to apply it to blues, how might I go about doing this?
Well, most blues songs are in major keys. The minor pentatonic/blues is used to create that false relation of the b3 in the scale and the 3 in the chord, which is what gives you that bluesy sound. However, you can still use that 3. In fact, going from the b3/#2 to the 3 gives you a really cool bluesy sound. Listen to the main riff in this. The second and third notes are the b3 and 3, respectively.

You can also use the thirds of the IV and V chords too. These would be your 6 and 7, respectively, in your scale. The b7 to the 7 over a V chord (b3 and 3 in relation to the chord's root) can give you a nice false relation too.

Another thing you can do is just whip out some licks straight from the major pentatonic scale. It should work over the I IV and V chords, however you should be wary of any clashes with the bass player. If he's doing a bassline with the minor pentatonic, you could get some discordance.

Edit: I can't think of any examples where you can just use the major scale straight up and down, but these are some ways that you can apply it.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at May 7, 2011,
#7
Well, I know major scale, but never really thought to apply it to blues, how might I go about doing this?


well, the mixolydian mode/scale (using it-non modally, but as a pool of notes to be employed over a chord) sounds really good over dominant seventh chords. If you don't know the mixolydian mode, don't worry about it---its the fifth mode of the major scale, so if you play a major scale a fourth higher then the root note of a dominant seventh chord (so if its G7, try C major)--and outline the dominant chord (G, B, D F), while paying attention to the melodic quality of the tensions (also, raising the 11 a half step, so C# instead of C natural over a G7 chord, can lend color, and oftentimes sound less dissonant then the natural 11). Likewise, if you want to stay with the familiar, playing a blues scale a 5th above the dominant chord your on can sound really good.
all the best.
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#8
Natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor. And some modes, mixolydian if you're going for a bluesy sound, if your theory is up to par
by the time you read this you will be wasting your time because it doesnt say anything
Last edited by hammettrocks at May 7, 2011,
#9
Put the guitar down for a bit, listen to a backing track and sing a solo over it. The reason you can't "break out" of the blues scale is because you aren't playing your guitar, the guitar is playing you.

Rather than you deciding what it is you want to play you're simply moving your fingers up and down frough familiar shapes and hoping something good comes out. If you take the guitar out of the equation you can be pretty confident that's not going to happen!
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#11
Quote by steven seagull
Put the guitar down for a bit, listen to a backing track and sing a solo over it. The reason you can't "break out" of the blues scale is because you aren't playing your guitar, the guitar is playing you.

Rather than you deciding what it is you want to play you're simply moving your fingers up and down frough familiar shapes and hoping something good comes out. If you take the guitar out of the equation you can be pretty confident that's not going to happen!


This.
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#13
Quote by Sean0913
Wait a minute...

You play blues, and you don't know how to stop sounding bluesy all the time, and when someone suggests the major and minor scale you want to know "how it could be used over a blues"? Am I missing something here?

Sean
Yeah I thought the same thing. I don't think he ever said he didn't want to sound bluesy though. He just said he wants to no longer be stuck in the blues scale.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#14
Make vamps in guitar pro of just one chord and solo over it for 15 mins or so.

For example record a Am7 chord or put in guitarpro and loop it infinite times.

Then play a A Dorian or A Minor scale and improvise with that over it for a given time, and try to come up with motifs (small melodic patterns) and play around with emphasizing different notes of the respective scales.

Also try to start on different notes and use different rhythmic approaches.

You can also loop an A7 chord and play the A major scale or the A Mixolydian scale over it and do the same as above.

I used the scales with A as root, cause in my opinion you will begin to hear the differences more clearly if all is relative to the same tonic.

By isolating per chord, you can listen better how melody/soloing works against harmony, cause you can only create interest through ur soloing/melody, and your solo's will not be affected through an harmony change.

An extra tip if you struggle with this, is to hit the notes of the chords on the downbeats (and/or first beat) and use the other notes of the scales in between to for example lead up to the chord tones or between chord tones.

Example;

A Dorian scale is: A, B, C, D, E, F#, G, A

Amin7 chord : A, C, E, G (These are the chord tones (bolded)

So B, D E and F# are the "in-between"notes to create interest.

Take notice of these, cause they are (most of the time) responsible for colour more so then the chord tones.

The chord tones are used more to emphasize the contrast of the In-between notes.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at May 9, 2011,