The Blues Scale and the Dorian Mode

Introducing 2 scales that will take you to the next level of the playing blues guitar.

The Blues Scale and the Dorian Mode
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In Part 1 of this blues guitar lesson I shared with you a simple way to add extra style/flavor to your blues improvisation by mixing the major and minor pentatonic scales together rather than just playing only one of them all the time.
This is Part 2 and I'm going to share with you 2 more scales that will take you to the next level of the playing blues guitar.

1- Blues Scale

2- Dorian Mode (Scale)

Watch this video for a quick overview and some examples:


Our backing track here is the same as the first part and it's in the key of E.

Look at the maps below and try to apply some of the examples in the video lesson along with the backing track




I have listed these maps above at the 7th fret position so you can easily see what they have in common. You will see they all have the same notes exactly. But with an extra note in blues scale. That extra note is the BLUE NOTE and it is what gives the blues that unique flavor.
You get the blue note by reducing the 5th of the scale a half stef or one fret. So the BLUE NOTE is b5 or flat 5th.

The Dorian mode is very common in blues too and it sound very similar to the minor pentatonic but it takes the blues to other places.. Maybe a little bit more funky or Latin. I'm not sure but it adds more style to your playing that's for sure. You take the natural minor scale and make the 6th major and you have the Dorian mode (Scale).

Now look at the maps below at the fret 12 position and focus on the Dorian mode map to be able to see how that lick in the video is played. It's an easy lick and you can hear a lot in many contexts and in the solos of most rock/blues guitar solos.








By the way me mentioning some scales doesn't mean that you have to stick with them strictly while you are playing, this is a common mistake many players do. The best way to benefit form a scale is to think of it as a guideline or a map. You need to be aware that good music don't blindly follow a certain scale but it's always dynamic and keeps changing in relation with chords - energy - mood - tempo - intensity.. And other factors.

Make sure to check Part 1 of this series to understand the concept of mixing major and minor blues.

Note: I have learned the stuff in my lessons by reading many books and watching many blues masters  concerts and instructional videos. I'm not in any way comparing myself to them or claiming that I am a blues master or even near that. I'm just a guy who loved the blues and I want to share with you some of my findings over the years of Electric Blues soloing specifically. Blues might be simple to understand and listen but definitely it might need a life time to dominate and master.

I'm sure you can find way much better lessons online, but I am hopeful that sharing my findings can be helpful to some guitarists out there

If you like to stay updated with the next parts of this series please subscribe to my channel here where you can find more lessons and extended backing tracks in various styles.

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