#1
Of course we've all heard of the Blues pentatonic scale, which is a pentatonic scale with a flat 5th. But I've seen different kinds. I've played a song before that was in a basic blues shuffle in G. So you'd think you would use G A# C C# D F. But, they for the blues note, they used the major and minor 3rd of a G, not an A#. So the scale was G A# B C D E F. (Yes there was a E in there, but normally if you went out of the pentatonic scale and went into a basic Minor scale, you would play a D#. So I guess this scale used a major 6th.)

But I've seen many blues songs, generally only in shuffles use the major and minor 3rd of the tonic, not the note that is 3 half steps up.

Also, If a song is in A major, do you use the A blues scale (A C C# D E G) or the F# (F# A B C C# E)?
#2
If you've got an Am pentatonic, the blue note is a flattened (diminished) fifth, but if you're treating it as a C major pentatonic (so if you play it in second position, starting from the C) then the blue note is a flattened (minor) third, along with the major third that's normally in the scale.
As for which scale to use, that first one that you call an A blues scale isn't one I recognise. If it's the same as the F# one, but in A minor instead, it would be A C D Eb E G, or if it were the major pentatonic with a blue note it would be A B C C# E F#. Yours is kind of a mixture of the two, is it meant to be?
#3
well blues is a mixture of major and minor, isn't it? I think what I've been seeing is just arpeggios that are used in a more of a jazz blues. Even in major blues scales, I always use a minor 7th.

What scale would you use in a blues shuffle with A7, D7 and E7?
#4
Blues Scale: 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7

Minor Pentatonic: 1 b3 4 5 b7

Major Pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6

Over your progression, the typical way to solo over it is using the minor pentatonic, with the blue note (b5) as a passing tone to give some flavor (the blues scale). Although the chords are major, you can use the minor pentatonic because that's how the blues sounds. Alternatively, you can also use the major pentatonic scale to get a different flavor to your playing.

Because the key of your progression is A, you would solo in A, using one of the above scales.
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#5
Blues scale is: 1 b3 4 b5 5 7

Look at the notes within each of the chords;

A7 = A C# E G

D7 = D F# A C

E7 = E G# B D

Now you have a few options. You can either play A / D / E Mixolydian over each chord respectively or look at it as I7 IV7 V7 in A major and compensate for the G (b7) in the A7 but use the G# in A major over the E7. You can get some nice chromatic resolving lines out of that. Something Scofield uses alot, an example would be in his solo for "Busted"

Or use the A blues scale over it the whole thing, just be wary of the b3rd (C) over the the A7's C#.

There are no set 'Rules' just different approaches, the first is more of a jazz way of looking at it. By treating each chord as it's own entity, or you can look at the progression and base your soloing on resolving nicely over each chord.

Then there's the blues method of using 1 scale for the whole thing.

Also if the song is in A major, solo in A major. Phrasing the relative minor over a major progression will sound odd.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by Zanon at Jun 4, 2011,
#6
Thank you. I've been using the Blues Pentatonic for years, but sometimes I notice these other notes and I dont know what the theory is behind them. I a blues shuffle, I'd most likely use the major scale with a flatted seventh, because of the 7th chords. But I think in more of a blues rock context, like Clapton and Hendrix, I'd use the blues pentatonic.
#8
Quote by Dmaj7
Thank you. I've been using the Blues Pentatonic for years, but sometimes I notice these other notes and I dont know what the theory is behind them. I a blues shuffle, I'd most likely use the major scale with a flatted seventh, because of the 7th chords. But I think in more of a blues rock context, like Clapton and Hendrix, I'd use the blues pentatonic.



You've basically been playing what I described, major pentatonic with a b7 is a mixolydian scale with a few notes missing, so if you want to get pedantic you could call it a mixolydian pentatonic but, let's avoid that.

Seems like you're on the right path playing wise, learn the notes of the chords you're playing and it will help massively with knowing what to play over them.