#1
Hi there,

I'm fairly new to playing guitar and had a couple of questions about playing the blues.

1. In many turn around licks, notes are played that are not part of the minor scale or blues scale... Is there a reason why this works in blues? Do all notes generally work with the I-IV-V progression? For example the G and high E strings are played in succession from fret 4 and all the way down...

2. During a typical I-IV-V progression, does the scale you play change depending on whether you are on the E, A, or B? Or do you normally stay within the E throughout all 12 bars?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is confusing.. Like I said I am a beginner so I may have some terms mixed up!
#2
1. Scales do not define what you can play over a progression. Hell, what you play doesn't even have to really work with the key. Not all notes work, and it's difficult to explain how some notes that are outside the key work, but just use your ears at this point.
2. Some scales work, some scales don't, it's really up to you to learn them and apply them as you hear fit. You can certainly change scales in the progression.
#3
Quote by skimmilk84
Hi there,

I'm fairly new to playing guitar and had a couple of questions about playing the blues.

1. In many turn around licks, notes are played that are not part of the minor scale or blues scale... Is there a reason why this works in blues? Do all notes generally work with the I-IV-V progression? For example the G and high E strings are played in succession from fret 4 and all the way down...

2. During a typical I-IV-V progression, does the scale you play change depending on whether you are on the E, A, or B? Or do you normally stay within the E throughout all 12 bars?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is confusing.. Like I said I am a beginner so I may have some terms mixed up!


1.There are many many things you can do over a dominant 7 based I IV V blues progression.So many options to be used.You don't have stick strictly with that minor pentatonic or blues scale.
Alot of the turnarounds mix notes from the minor and major pentatonic and blues scales.
The nature of the Dominant 7th chord enables that the Major and Minor pentatonic scales(amongst many others)will work over them to give you different sounds,For example when you get to the V chord,Playing Major pent over that works very well.
2.As said above,There are so many options.
You can get away with just playing
that Em Pentatonic scale over the whole progression,If you do this it is good to land on relevent notes to the chord that you are playing over at the time or a note from the next chord that is coming up in the progression.You can learn this by ear by jamming over a blues track and just playing the note that sounds good at that point in the track,This is how i learned when i just started,By ear.
However it is soo much better to learn why these notes work well over that particular chord and to know as many options as you possibly can for each chord that you are playing over so you can dictate the sound that you want to create easily.
One thing that will take your blues phrasing to a whole new level is to learn the arpeggios for the chords(for eg in a basic E blues the E7,A7 and B7 Aperggios),Learn these well,Your blues will be much much better when you know how to imply the chord that you are playing over.
This is just the begining.
You can play different scales over each chord for example.Mixalydian will give you a different sound,E Melodic Minor over the A7 chord will give you another sound again.
Those are just examples of the many options you have.
Start with those chord tones(Arpeggios) for now.
#4
Quote by skimmilk84
Hi there,

I'm fairly new to playing guitar and had a couple of questions about playing the blues.

1. In many turn around licks, notes are played that are not part of the minor scale or blues scale... Is there a reason why this works in blues? Do all notes generally work with the I-IV-V progression? For example the G and high E strings are played in succession from fret 4 and all the way down...

2. During a typical I-IV-V progression, does the scale you play change depending on whether you are on the E, A, or B? Or do you normally stay within the E throughout all 12 bars?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is confusing.. Like I said I am a beginner so I may have some terms mixed up!


1) you can get away with a lot in turnaround phrases - playing out, outlining a passing chord, playing chromatic gibberish etc. so the "rules" can be broken here.

2) There are a million different ways to approach a I IV V. For example, E(I) A(IV) B(V). Over the I (E), I would normally dance between the minor blues scale, E mixolydian mode, E Dorian mode, and minor pentatonic over the I chord ( depending on the context obviously). Over the IV (A) chord I would normally try to outline that change by playing the A mixolydian mode ( which also happens to be E Dorian) with some chromatic passing tones and you can still use the E minor blues here - the trick is to accentuate the C# note, which is the major third interval of A and the G note ( which is the flat 7 of A) since these outline the A chord. Over the B7 - you can get away with E minor blues ( just don't emphasize the G note, but rather the F#) or you can play B mixolydian with some chromatic passing tones ( this outlines the change more drastically).

That's just one way to do it. You can simply hammer away at the E minor blues scale over a whole progression, Stevie Ray Vaughan did that all the time - the trick there is to make sure you don't over emphasize notes that are not in the A and B chords when those take place. That being said, your solos will get infinitely better if you really try to play the changes and outline the different chords by treating each differently. That's also why I consider thinking in terms of A mixolydian over the IV chord instead of looking at it like E dorian( in spite of the fact that they are the same notes), because you're focused on the intervals in relation to A - which is the important sonic information when soloing.

Listen to some blues jazz tunes, like Freddie the Freeloader from Kind of Blue or some Grant Green Blues for Willareen - they do a great job of really outlining the chord changes better than most blues rock guitarists, who can be pretty box pattern dependent. Listening to a lot of that will spill into your playing and help your ear really understand blues changes.