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Using The Blues Scales To Master Blues Guitar Playing

May 1, 2008
Mastering the guitar is like taming a large bull but once you have understood it, you can play almost anything and play sensational blues riffs and licks.

The great thing about creating your own blues backing tracks is that when you need to reflect back and play a solo then, it will come in handy. On the lighter side of, it will save you the cost and the headache of arranging for a band meet up.

The last stage of mastering the blues guitar is playing solo and it is probably one of the toughest stages. Having a great blues backing track to back you up helps immensely when you are practicing a solo. While playing a blues guitar solo, you need to always know the various notes that you can play and a set of notes is known as a scale. The most important thing about playing a solo in blues is that the scales had better fit into the song as well as the chords. There are several scales and different modes that you can start practising in order to mastering blues guitar. Scales and modes include major and minor scales; melodic/ natural/harmonic scales, lydian, dorian, mixolydian, phrygian and aeolian modes. A thorough understanding of the various scales and modes will assist you to not only master the blues playing technique but also help you to improvise licks and riffs over blues backing tracks.

The Pentatonic Scale

One of the scales that will help you to really master the blues guitar and help you to play a solo and define blues backing tracks is the pentatonic scale. The name pentatonic scale has been derived from the fact that it contains 5 different notes. You can start by playing the minor pentatonic scale in E instead of the major pentatonic scale, which is played mostly for rock. You need to start from the E Key as all the open strings are on this scale. Here's an example:

E I---------------------0-3-I
B I-----------------0-3-----I
G I-------------0-2---------I
D I---------0-2-------------I

Once you practice this, you can move on to the next stage that involves getting the typical sound of the Blues using the Blue note also known as the diminished fifth. Some of the other blues notes that you can work on for mastering blues guitar and creating your own blues backing tracks are the diminished 7th and the 3rd. You can also play general notes at a much lower pitch than you would normally play a major scale. Another note that you need to focus on is the diminished (flat) third, which is more commonly played in classical music and in Blues music, this note is normally in a bend form of a minor note that can be converted into the major note.

The diminished (flat) seventh is also used extensively for creating blues backing tracks and is an essential part of the dominant 7th chord, which will take you back to the root note. These are some of the notes and scales that will help you in mastering blues guitar and also give a solo performance - on stage - absolutely live!!
About the Author
Get 50 of The Best Blues Backing Tracks at 50 Blues Studios Take your blues guitar playing to a whole new level by jamming with a live band! Zack is the founder of 50 Blues Music Studios and has recorded amazing blues guitar backing tracks for blues guitarists
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