#1
Hi, i am trying to learn the blues. I learnt the 12 bar blues progressions. My question is about soloing.
When i write blues backing track in A on youtube, i play the a minor pentatonic scale and its modes. First of all is this correct? Can i use all of these scales simultaneously? (when i'm playing from the 5-8 can i play at 12-15 in the next bar or should i?).
Secondly, if i play an A minor backing track what should i play? Should i play these scales in the minor blues, and if so what should i play in major blues? Thanks for the help.
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Last edited by solijoli at Aug 21, 2014,
#2
These "scales" you are referring to, are just one scale, the Minor pentatonic. It lays, like every other scale, note and chord, all over the neck in different shapes and forms. The dots on these diagrams are simply the scale chopped up into different positions for easier learning and finger placement. But its all one scale.

Since you're a beginner, Study it, know it all over the neck, so that you dont have to think in terms of frets anymore but rather the whole thing, dont only learn the dots and where they are located but learn the layout of the scale, the scale degrees, so that you can establish a relationship between the sounds your playing and how to replicate them and play them every where on the neck. it will be a nice foundation step for playing blues.
Last edited by Ignore at Aug 21, 2014,
#3
Yeah, this isn't "a scale and its modes" - this is the A minor pentatonic scale. And you can use it over major or minor blues.

Once you're comfortable with the minor pentatonic, start exploring ways to blend it with the major pentatonic. There's some great information on this on mikedodge's website. But don't get into that until you are comfortable with the minor pentatonic.
#4
Minor pentatonic scale works over 90% of any blues. If you want a "different sound", then major pentatonic scale also works over 90% of any blues.
#5
^ yeah pretty much
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
listen to Albert King...find his tune "cold feet" on the net...notice his economical use of notes and how effective they are..and his use of "space" - NOT playing - the blues has many forms-city-country-folk-slow-fast-major-minor-rock-jazz-fusion- and ways to be expressed..and many players that are just way beyond good at playing it..and though some may say its "a simple I IV V progression" playing it "for real" takes some time to master..

start with simple riffs and build slowly from there...study from the masters Howlin Wolf Muddy Waters Robert Johnson..etc and see how they played..there is a wealth of knowledge from just these three men..

yeah the pent scales will give you the notes to play..but--its how you play them..

play well

wolf
#9
Quote by SuperKid
over the I chord, try using the major pentatonic scale (with blue note: 1 2 b3 3 5 6 1). use minor pent over IV and V. using minor pentatonic 100% of the time over the blues progression will sound dull really fast because the changes are not highlighted and there is no real motion

Not if you know how to use it.


Also, why can't you capitalize stuff? It's distracting to not see the first word in a sentence capitalized.
#10
use the minor blues scale 100% of the time if you feel like it, there's nothing wrong with that if you enjoy that sound.

personally i would just stop listening and move on to listen to someone else, because no matter how many bends you make and weird guitarist faces, i will get bored in 10 seconds , example

if you ever get bored of the same static sound, using the major blue scale brings up some very important notes missing from the minor counterpart.

about the capitals, i type with one hand so i don't overuse my fretting hand too much and can't be arsed to write prefectly
#11
^ that dude has pretty exceptional blues face technique

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Well, yeah. The whole point of blues isn't what scale you play, it's HOW you play.


"you have to listen to the notes he's not playing"

"I can do that at home"

Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Also, why can't you capitalize stuff? It's distracting to not see the first word in a sentence capitalized.


don't be hating on lack of capitals
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
"you have to listen to the notes he's not playing"

"I can do that at home"

Exactly.


don't be hating on lack of capitals

But it bugs me...
#13
Quote by solijoli
Hi, i am trying to learn the blues. I learnt the 12 bar blues progressions. My question is about soloing.
When i write blues backing track in A on youtube, i play the a minor pentatonic scale and its modes. First of all is this correct? Can i use all of these scales simultaneously? (when i'm playing from the 5-8 can i play at 12-15 in the next bar or should i?).
Secondly, if i play an A minor backing track what should i play? Should i play these scales in the minor blues, and if so what should i play in major blues? Thanks for the help.

Don't overcomplicate this for yourself. Don't think in terms of "I'll play this on this chord and go there in the next bar" - at least not yet.

First learn it with the notes or single "position" you have. Learn how these sound over the complete 12 bar. Then work out two parts: 1) first 8 bars; 2) the last 4 bars.

Then work out three parts: 1) first 8; (2) bars 9-10; (3) bars 11-12

Then add another part by separating the first 8 bars into 4 bars each. This way you'll begin to understand the underlying structure and how to work with it. Which leads us to the final part of this exercise - create a melody or theme that becomes the trademark of the piece that is interwoven between everything, no matter how subtle.

Next would be to get teaching material from Robben Ford which will help you in learning different sounds by altering scales which in turn alter the chords beneath. While learning these things, learn and improve your techniques techniques - make your vibrato king; play beautiful bends that don't sound hesitant; make your slides watery; etc etc.

Hope this helps and that you can use it.
#15
Quote by Hail
man yall white boys are f'in the blues up man

Hush..... bassist
#16
That's not the only way to play the blues. There is an interplay of Minor to major 3rds as passing notes, there's also chord tone soloing.

For example, you're in A, and the I is about to change the the IV. I love to play the 3rd of the IV, but guess what? It's not found anywhere in the A Blues scale, but if I play that F# on the change, it is more bluesy than any note in that entire A Blues scale. So F# to E to C to A notes over the IV chord is instantly on point. I just killed it over the chord by using the 3rd, the 9th, the b7 and the 5th of that IV chord.

Best,

Sean
#17
Hi, some of you said you can also play the major pentatonic scale. I assume that means A major pentatonic scale, which means an F# minor pentatonic scale (right?). So I can play the same shapes just three frets behind like in this picture? And i really didn't understand what to play at a minor blues? Thanks.

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#18
Quote by solijoli
Hi, some of you said you can also play the major pentatonic scale. I assume that means A major pentatonic scale, which means an F# minor pentatonic scale (right?). So I can play the same shapes just three frets behind like in this picture? And i really didn't understand what to play at a minor blues? Thanks.

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If you're looking for "typical" options I would recommend A minor pent or A Minor or A Dorian over the A minor chord. Over the D minor chord you can stick with A minor (which also happens to be the same notes as D Dorian) while emphasizing the minor third of D (F note) - you can also play D minor pentatonic. If the last chord E is major, then you can play A harmonic minor if that vibe is up your alley - the important thing is to catch the G# to outline that E maj chord. If the last chord is minor then just play A minor pent or A Minor.

I would encourage you to learn the original 60's recording of the Thrill is Gone by BB King ( which isn't a straight blues progression, but still helpful) and Lucky Peterson's "Who's been talking" below to get a feel for how to play the changes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXsusJ787sU


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya4fbkWIuT8
#19
Quote by Sean0913
That's not the only way to play the blues. There is an interplay of Minor to major 3rds as passing notes, there's also chord tone soloing.

For example, you're in A, and the I is about to change the the IV. I love to play the 3rd of the IV, but guess what? It's not found anywhere in the A Blues scale, but if I play that F# on the change, it is more bluesy than any note in that entire A Blues scale. So F# to E to C to A notes over the IV chord is instantly on point. I just killed it over the chord by using the 3rd, the 9th, the b7 and the 5th of that IV chord.

Best,

Sean

Yeah, limiting yourself to the blues scale when playing over a blues progression is just very stupid. Mix it up with notes from the regular major, think about chord tones, play harmonic intervals, chromatics, etc.

Like Sean said, a good example is playing the 3rd of the IV chord. When I play blues piano, I like to slide from the b3 to the 3 of the IV chord. In C that would be Ab to A, and neither of those notes are in the C blues scale.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Aug 22, 2014,
#20
I understand people saying that that minor pentatonic gets boring, but I'd argue there are no boring scales, only boring players.

Here's the issue:

The pentatonic scales are so easy to use that you can play them very mindlessly. Just sort of move your fingers around in the shape, and it will sound like music. A lot of pentatonic players end up relying entirely on muscle memory - they have a stock set of moves that come to them by habit, and they just repeat them. Sometimes those moves can include some pretty cool licks, sometimes they've got great speed and technique, but the music invariably starts sounding inert.
I call this "playing by finger" and it's what a lot of intermediate guitarists do. Playing by finger is the enemy. You don't want to do that.

Some people try to avoid the playing-by-finger trap by learning more scales. This forces you to expand your muscle memory, but what usually happens is that you end up playing by finger in multiple scales. It's like saying, "I'm bored of these cookies ... I'll get another cookie cutter!" instead of doing the hard work of finding a new recipe for your cookies.

The solution to this is to develop your ear so that you can play intentionally. You want every note to flow form your mind: that is to say, you want to know what it is going to sound like BEFORE you play it. You do this with ear training and visualization. Develop your ear (transcribing, the functional ear trainer, etc) and practice doing things like singing a lick before you play it - the idea being to play what you just sung. (It's sing ... then play. Not play then sing. That's easy).

All of this is connecting your technique (your ability to move your fingers around the fretboard) with your inner musician - the creative part of you that comes up with interesting things to say.

The more you can do that, the more your inner musician flows through your fingers, the sillier the obsession with scales becomes. Because you're not thinking in scales, you're thinking in sounds. My best moments, when I'm most "on" (and it doesn't happen eveyr time I pick up the guitar, not even close) I couldn't tell you what scales I'm playing because I'm just playing music.

But also ... if you're really channelling your inner musician, then one scale is enough. B.B. King is almost exclusively pentatonic, for example. You can be incredibly compelling as a guitarist with minor pentatonic over major blues, if that's what you want. The flip side of that, however, is that if you're not connected to your inner musician, if you're playing by finger, then it doesn't matter how many scales you know - your playing may have some technical flash, but it will be boring.
#21
If you're going to play over a regular 12 bar major blues. ex. in key of A blues - A7, D7, E7.

4 common options. A minor pent/blues scale, A major pent/blues scale, A mixolydian scale (adding the b3 would be cool too), A dorian scale. That's plenty of sounds to get creative with at your level. Some tips: play the A minor blues over the 4 chord (D7) and you can also practice and try playing seventh arpeggios over the chords too.
"How to Become a Better Musician" - is my online course at www.MyOnlineMusicLessons.com. Phrasing and Rhythmic Development, Improv Techniques, Jazz Theory, Ear Training and more. I'm also available for Skype/Hangout lessons.
#22
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Exactly.


But it bugs me...




i think with me it's a backlash against german (nouns had to be capitalised, let alone beginnings of sentences and proper nouns).

or else just laziness

Quote by Sean0913
That's not the only way to play the blues. There is an interplay of Minor to major 3rds as passing notes, there's also chord tone soloing.

For example, you're in A, and the I is about to change the the IV. I love to play the 3rd of the IV, but guess what? It's not found anywhere in the A Blues scale, but if I play that F# on the change, it is more bluesy than any note in that entire A Blues scale. So F# to E to C to A notes over the IV chord is instantly on point. I just killed it over the chord by using the 3rd, the 9th, the b7 and the 5th of that IV chord.

Best,

Sean


of course, but that's probably more advanced stuff. i figured he just wanted the basics.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 22, 2014,
#23
The most important thing to do when learning and practicing scales is to sing them as you play them.
#24
okay no but really go listen to some robert johnson and read how intellectual you guys are trying to sound about the blues

you're all thinking way too hard about it and missing the point

you're all kinda making me ashamed of being white
#25
yeah because missing the point about blues is the worst thing whites have ever done to african-americans
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#26
What scales?

Depends on what sound you are going for. In general there is a lot of mix and matching going on as John T and others mentioned.

After a while you dont really think much about it, you just play.

This is the intro to a blues song at the first practice of a band I had joined in 1997. I think this is just a "board tape" with maybe 2 mics thrown up? not sure.

I only knew the drummer. That is the sort of situation where one is fairly nervous (first jam with strangers etc.) So in that case one isnt going to do so well with a lot of "thinking" about what scale blah blah. But like I said, after a while with the blues you can usually just play.

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/JohnProphet/music/all/play1276152

Blues in A

over the A chord I played minor pent stuff and I think thats a maj3rd thrown in and then the little ascending turnaround type lick which goes up to maj3rd

over the D chord I just went up to the 10th position minor pent box ending up on the root note 10th fret B string. I dont do that all THAT much. Usually over the IV chord I just stay in the first position box and either play minor 3rd of the key which will be the flat 7th of the IV chord...OR I will play the maj 3rd of the IV chord itself (maj6th of the key). Or do something like combine those 2 ideas by prebending the maj6th up to flat 7 then releasing the bend and dropping to the min 3rd with vibrato which is a very common lick

Its extremely common and good to play maj3rd stuff over the I chord then minor 3rd stuff over the IV chord

On the E chord im at the "BB king Box" working the e note then trilling min3rd/maj3rd on 8/9th fret of high e string and then down to a pulloff lick using the flat5. Something interesting to try is using the maj3rd of the V chord which is the maj7th of the key. You dont usually think of playing a maj7th in the blues but it can work nicely there. Hendrix/Vaughn had some nice licks using the maj3rd of the V chord

Then the last bit is back up to the 10th fret but this time with the more major sounding BB King sound

------------

The keyboard player was always changing the tuning on his keyboard so he could play the fingerings he liked. Of course that can lead to human error. At our first gig when we went into this song he was just totally in the wrong key and he was hitting every chord in the book trying to find his way. I think he was wrong for the first 12 bars anyway. Fun stuff.
#27
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah because missing the point about blues is the worst thing whites have ever done to african-americans


oh dear....
#28
Quote by Hail
okay no but really go listen to some robert johnson



my point also..
#29
You should approach blues with the chords first. You aren't really using a scale per se. Rather, you're using the notes in the chords and filling in what's not there.

If you're playing over A7 (A C# E G), then your melody needs to relate to those chord tones in some way. What you play essentially becomes part of the overall harmony, so it needs to have some relationship with those chord tones. You can stay entirely on the major triad if you want, or you can start throwing in chromatic "blues notes", or you can play only the blues notes. Hell, you can play a full-on diminished scale over the blues and it sounds great, if you know how how to make scalar patterns with chord tones.
#30
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah because missing the point about blues is the worst thing whites have ever done to african-americans


nothing else comes to mind
#33
Quote by Elintasokas
Does he ever not troll?

90% of the time, he is trolling, yeah. But don't feed him, for the love of everything!
#34
Breaking into the Phrygian Dominant when playing over a standard Blues progression, always gets the attention (or weird faces) :p
#35
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
@Dave:
Why did you feed Hail, when he was trolling? WHY?!




my bad
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?