#1
If a song doesn't involve the blues scale, why is it called a blues song? Basically, what classifies a song as blues?

Also, what scale(s) does Jazz use?
#2
Jazz uses any scale you want, and no, blues doesn't neccesarily involve the blues scale, it's just that the blues scale is the archetypal sound that traditionally has made up the blues, just like in any music you can use any scale that you want as long as it sounds like what you want it to.
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#3
So I'm no music theory buff but I think I can begin to explain the answer to your question.

The blues is a style of music, not just a scale. What makes the blues sound like the blues though I believe, is the timing and placement of certain chords. If you use certain chords in a key you use them in roman numeral form, I, IV for example. The pattern of the chords used is what gives a song a bluesy sound, as far as I know!
#4
I've been told the reason that the "blues scale" (minor pentatonic) is called the blues scale is because it is the closest thing that western music has to the pentatonic scales of the music of the Africans taken to America as slaves - it was noted that they always seemed to sing the 3rd and 7th degrees of the major scale flat. So thats why the 'blues scale' is the minor instead of major pentatonic. Don't know where the tritone came from though.
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#5
From what I've heard Philly is correct; It is a certain chord progression mixed with proper timing/placement that gives a bluesy sound, the scale was an afterthought.
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#6
Standard blues is the 1-3-5 chord progression of a major scale (I think) and usually uses just the minor pentatonic scales in that key and some major scale notes thrown in there. Also, it's important to use the note of the chord you're playing while soloing over a chord progression.
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#7
Quote by Suicidal_Brick
Standard blues is the 1-3-5 chord progression of a major scale (I think)


No. I IV V, usually dominants.

Also, as Mark Levine says in The Jazz Theory Book, the blues scale shows the limitations of traditional music theory, as it cannot really be explained by it.
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#8
but it really shouldn't...that music theory was written down to explain some of what makes classical music sound like it does. blues doesn't sound like it, so it shouldn't really fit into those writings.
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#9
Quote by sirpsycho85
but it really shouldn't...that music theory was written down to explain some of what makes classical music sound like it does. blues doesn't sound like it, so it shouldn't really fit into those writings.


Eh.... Right.
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#10
nope, no need for the blues scale...just about any minor one wil do, yyou cant really get the feel with a major scale, for exaple...the major pentatonic just doesnt have the blues sound.
#11
Quote by Mad_Rocker101
nope, no need for the blues scale...just about any minor one wil do, yyou cant really get the feel with a major scale, for exaple...the major pentatonic just doesnt have the blues sound.


Sure it does, if you use it correctly. The blues isn't all misery and heartbreak, and like any other field of music, you use different bits of scales to illustrates different moods.
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#12
Quote by Mad_Rocker101
nope, no need for the blues scale...just about any minor one wil do, yyou cant really get the feel with a major scale, for exaple...the major pentatonic just doesnt have the blues sound.


I think you probibly mean the standard major scale doesn't have that "blues" sound, which is correct to a large extent. However, the major pentatonic is just as commonly seen in blues as is the minor pentatonic. You'll find the best blues guitarist switch between them extremely often, with the majority of listeners actually not realising so (mostly non-guitarists).

Listen to some S.R.V and AC/DC for some examples of combining major and minor pentatonics.
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#13
Well, hypothetically you wouldn't need it, but if you're jamming with some blues musicians, then you need it.
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#14
Quote by hhsuey


Also, what scale(s) does Jazz use?


Almost every scale. Just follow the chords and chord changes. I love the sound of the altered scale, myxolydian scale and the blues scale (with the blue note...) sounds great too.
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#15
i thought the blues scale was explainied, the bluesy sad sound being the flat 3rd 7th (and sometimes 5th) degree of the scale being played (sometimes slowy bent up) to/over the major 3rd and 7th...
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#16
if you wanna get technical, yes the typical blues song consists of the I-IV-V, 12 bar progression played to a shuffle beat. and the licks are based on a blues scale, both major and minor. but what makes the blues is the feeling behind the music. to me, that's what makes a blues song no matter what scale or structure.
#18
Quote by Mad_Rocker101
nope, no need for the blues scale...just about any minor one wil do, you cant really get the feel with a major scale, for exaple...the major pentatonic just doesnt have the blues sound.



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#19
Quote by TUMFP
Blues isn't one progression. Blues is everything you can feel. If you can "feel" the music, it's a form of blues.


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