#1
Ive been confused with playing what scale over what keys (major or minor). I mainly want to play Blues using blues scale but idk if its a Major or a Minor scale. Can it be played over both Major and minor keys? Or should i use Major pentatonic for blues in a major key, and minor pent for blues in a minor key? Sorry if i sound confusing ._.
Last edited by hamza.adnan10 at Sep 15, 2016,
#2
The blues scale works over both major and minor blues. I would say an important part of the "blues sound" is mixing major and minor. The blues scale is minor pentatonic + tritone.

"Can it be played over both Major and minor keys?"

Anything can be played over anything. There are really no wrong notes, there are just good and bad sounding ways of using the notes. You can figure out what works just by trying it. What does it sound like if you play minor pentatonic/blues scale over major blues? What if you just use the major pentatonic scale?

People use both minor and major pentatonic over major blues. Over minor blues, major pentatonic doesn't really work. You can of course try it, but it just clashes with the chords pretty badly. Usually minor third over major chord will sound much better than major third over minor chord.
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#3
I suggest you record your solos .. hear how they sound to you..also explore the tri-tone scale and mixolydian lydian and phrygian dominant scales..diminished and augmented scales..at some point you will get that "stuck" feeling playing just the blues and pentatonic scales..
play well

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#4
Use the chord tones and alterations thereof. You're usually safe with the chord tone and the note half step below (except on the root). The b3 and b5 are commonly called "blue notes" specifically because they create that bluesy sound.
#5
MaggaraMarine cdgraveswolflen Thanks alot people. Ill try it all now. Didnt expect anyone to reply on my first UG post xD thanks again
#6
Just to add, in case it helps....

The standard blues scale can be used in major or minor keys.

In major keys there are more clashes with chord tones, but we kind of like those clashes. If you don't, you can always bend the blues scale note(s) up to the nearest chord tone(s), which also sounds good. Here's a little diagram to show how the A blues scale notes line up with the usual chord tones in an A major key blues:
 A BLUES SCALE: |A  .  .  C  .  D  Eb E  .  .  G  .  A
A7 CHORD TONES: |A  .  .  .  C# .  .  E  .  .  G  .  A
D7 CHORD TONES: |A  .  .  C  .  D  .  .  .  F# .  .  A
E7 CHORD TONES: |.  .  B  .  .  D  .  E  .  .  .  G# .
You can see that E7 chord might cause most problems, but nothing that some bending won't sort out (or just avoid the notes you can't make fit - it only lasts one bar anyway). The blues scale is such a strong sound that as long as you're confident with your phrasing, you can over-ride the chord tones - although it's usually good to end any phrase on a chord tone, especially if you're going to hold it.
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 16, 2016,
#7
Here is some advice for a basic I, IV, V blues ( using all dom7th chords):

1) learn solos and learn them by ear - you need to develop a musical vocabulary and learning actual blues solos will make playing the changes easier.

2) Something to try :

a) over the I chord ( in G for example - i.e. G7) you can normally play G Mixolydian, Minor pentatonic or major pentatonic pretty indiscriminately depending on what sound you're looking for. On that first chord you have a LOT of freedom.
b) over the IV chord ( C7 in this case) you have less freedom - here you want to AVOID playing the B note and stick with Bb - in simplistic practical terms this means you focus on G minor pentatonic or G Dorian mode ( which happens to be C mixolydian) - both of those work wonders. It's conceptually smarter to think in terms of C mixolydian, but it's all the same notes. When you switch over to the IV chord, it helps to accentuate one of the notes in the C7 chord, doesn't matter which one, but by doing that you are bringing the listener through the chords with your solo.
c) over the V chord, here you really have to pay attention and outline the change - same idea as the IV chord, play a note from the chord to start and then fiddle your way through on back.

The cardinal rule above is that you can go crazy over that first chord(G7) but need to be aware and more precise when playing the IV and the V, since they have way more avoid notes that will sound terrible if you accentuate them. As a beginner I think the above approach is best, but when you get more advanced there's all kinds of crazy things you can do over the V chord for example ( see John Scofield or any jazz player ever).