#1
Ok, so probably a dumb question, but to solo over blues, you used the blues scale obviously, but can you also use other scales (ie the major or minor) and is there a specific rule towards that, like the major scale always applies that way? or is it more of a "use whatever freaking notes you want" type of thing? Cause i've been looking at different parts of SRV's songs, and it seems to me that there's not much of a consistency in what notes outside of the blues scale that he uses, but then again maybe i'm mistaken
#2
You don't have to play just the blues scale, you can play what ever scale that fits the progression and notes you want. It's more about how you phrase than anything.

Accidentals, wonderful things, allowing you to play outside those set notes for a certain scale.
#3
^ that
but to answer your question, in blues you utilize different scales (mostly major/minor pentatonic) as well as broken down chords and chromatic motions. Apart from that, you can add 'blue note' to the pentatonics (which is the blues scale you mentioned), you can also combine major and minor pentatonic as well as sometimes play pretty much random notes outside the scales
#4
I have no one size fits all answer but in the key of E (e, a, b progression) play some Gb and Db before or after your G or D notes in a run. The feeling I I get from it is like a begging or wining it fits but it is noticeably not the blues scale (to people who know blues).
Blues, classical, metal. Who says you cant love all 3?
Last edited by ThatDarnDavid at Aug 18, 2011,
#5
@ThatDarnDavid: isn't the G already the 3b in the blues scale? and the D the 7b? thats what gives it the bluesy feel right?

@KorYi: that is exactly the answer i wanted. but heres another one, when the chord is minor do i use a broken down minor chord? and the minor pentatonic solely instead of adding the major pent? i'm completely at ground zero on minor blues, so if you wouldn't mind helping out a bit with that i'd appreciate it.

@scguitarking927: can you expound on playing the progression? like what would be something i could use in the basic 12 bar blues? the I IV V chords . Also expound on the Phrasing, if you could
#6
The chord tone approach is useful for the blues. You could start with the concept of targeting the 3rd and 7th of each 7th chord in a 12 bar format, and expand from there. Of course, one doesn't absolutely have to hit chord tones (you could hit extensions such as 9s and 13s), and there are ways to jazz up the blues with various kinds of chromaticism.

It also depends on the kind of blues. You can do different things with a minor blues format, including bringing melodic minor into it. And some blues tunes there are turnarounds that add additional harmonic movement that the chord tone approach would be useful for as well.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Aug 19, 2011,
#7
To old-time Delta bluesmen, the term "theory" would have been pretty much alien... This is after all "folk" music traditionally learned directly from others.

Modern blues has morphed considerably from that level of course, but there's still a great deal of the old signature sounds which are unique to "blues" music.
#8
so i'm going to put this out into the theory i've understood so far.

A Blues Scale: A C D D# E G A
D Blues Scale: D F G G# A C D
E Blues Scale: E G A A# B D E

Major Pentatonic's notes: A B C# E F#
Tones from IV Chord: F# and C

so as i understand it i can change between the blues scale for each chord, like when the chord changes from I to IV i can start playing the D Blues Scales while the D/D7 chord is being played. I understand what ThatDarnDavid was saying in that if i "scoop" up the 3b and 7b a little bit it gives it a bit of a bluesy feel.

I'f i were to do what Brainpolice2 said then i would use the F# and C notes to play because those are the 3rd and 7th chord tones of a D7 right? Heres the question for this part, is that a "guideline" for when the chord changes? or all the time? or only when its ontop of the chord thats you're using to get those notes (ie using F# and C is only "kosher" over the IV chord in my example? or during the change from I to IV or all the time?)

as for the minor blues, i guess i'll just hold off until i figure out the NORMAL blues, before i get myself confused

Major Pentatonic still confuses me a little bit, i haven't done too much experimenting with it with any backing tracks, but i'm curious as to when and how that works/sounds. cause it has the 1 2 3 5 6 notes, and the blues has the 1 3b 4 5b 5 7b notes. so i guess i'm just a bit confused on how that would sound good being placed next to each other. so many conflicting notes. Is it more of an approach on HOW i lead into those "stranger" notes (i like to call them haha)
Last edited by a0kalittlema0n at Aug 19, 2011,
#9
Quote by a0kalittlema0n

@scguitarking927: can you expound on playing the progression? like what would be something i could use in the basic 12 bar blues? the I IV V chords . Also expound on the Phrasing, if you could


You can literally use what ever scale you want, try "whole tone scales", they can be used for some more "light" texture to the songs. Your major scale and corresponding modes can be used, remember the pentatonic is based out of the major scale. And accidental notes of course allow you to roam freely across the neck.

and you can make what ever progression you choose sound "bluesy". ii, IV, V or iii, IV, vii. the I IV V is just what would be considered "standard". Again it's phrasing, it is just how you articulate the notes. Your going to use all the techniques you know, slides, hammer ons and pull offs, string skipping, etc; and put them to use.

Phrasing:
Easiest way to explain it is think of it like talking. What actually goes into making the words come out the way they do? You shape your mouth and use different amounts of air to push out sounds, and using your tongue to block air to create different texture. Same thing for the guitar except with your hands. Your using your techniques to create different sounds. You don't just talk monotoned the whole time, there's emotion, rushed words, drawn out words, quick changes that go into actual dialogue, guitar is no different. Just remember all instruments are basically emulating the human voice. And we all talk differently, which is why we all voice/play things on the guitar slightly different.

Like anything else it takes time and practice to work on phrasing and get your own guitar "voice"
#10
My commentary below assumes that we're working with a more-or-less standard 12 bar blues format that involves dominant 7th chords (simplified, in E, 1 chord per bar: E7, A7, E7, E7, A7, A7, E7, E7, B7, A7, E7, B7).

so as i understand it i can change between the blues scale for each chord, like when the chord changes from I to IV i can start playing the D Blues Scales while the D/D7 chord is being played.


IMO, this isn't necessarily the best idea. It would actually be more fitting to think of an associated *mixolydian* for each 7th chord, because each 7th chord has a major 3rd and a flat 7 (and yes, forum theory watch, I know that this technically isn't "playing modally"). Forcing minor 3rds over each 7th chord seems odd unless you intend to resolve them up a halfstep, which would then make it a nice use of chromaticism, or if there is some purposeful use of #9's in the arrangement.

I'f i were to do what Brainpolice2 said then i would use the F# and C notes to play because those are the 3rd and 7th chord tones of a D7 right? Heres the question for this part, is that a "guideline" for when the chord changes? or all the time? or only when its ontop of the chord thats you're using to get those notes (ie using F# and C is only "kosher" over the IV chord in my example? or during the change from I to IV or all the time?)


I just think of it as a guideline for notes that are from each chord, as something that fits well in the context of the changes. It's meant to follow the changes. And it doesn't have to be the 3rd and 7th. Roots and 5ths work as well. The 3rd and 7th just happen to be more interesting or characteristic. And we could take things further and involve 9s and 13s, but I don't want to jump ahead yet.

I don't know if I would exactly say it's only "kosher" to use those notes (3rds and 7ths) over the associated chords, but it is a good starting point for what works when playing over changes. It certainly flows more naturally and involves more movement than playing E minor pentatonic or the blues scale over the whole thing.

IMO, if we're talking about a standard 12 bar format with 7th chords, minor pentatonic or the blues scale over the whole thing might start to sound bad (or at least repetitive and cliche) at various points unless you're trying to be dissonant or you resolve it somehow. For example, imagine that someone else is hanging on the V chord (B7), and you're playing a lot of E's and D's from E minor pentatonic. D# is the 3rd of B7. This just doesn't work well. Indeed, the only note from B7 included in E minor pent is B (root) and A (7th).

In terms of the changes and playing over them, a blues format is pretty much inherently chromatisized to one degree or another. The most relevant notes are shifting with each chord. In terms of single-note lines, there are lots of interesting ways to use chromaticism with blues, but it pretty much always has a context or purpose for its usage (and resolves). The basic level of chromaticism necessary to play over "standard" blues is an important starting point before jumping into more adventurous territory.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Aug 19, 2011,