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How to Play the Blues Scale on the Guitar

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to play the blues scale on guitar in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Let's talk about the Blue scale. Blue scale is a bit of a misleading term.

Real Blues players don't really think of scales. They may have practiced scales at some point, but the actual playing of the blues is not picking notes from a scale, but rather, the Blues scale as a concept, is something that captures a bit of the Blues flavor that can be used as a tool. So, when most people use the term Blues scale, it refers to minor pentatonic, with a flat fifth added. So, what I mean by that, is the pentatonic scale has five notes.

Okay? So, if I add an extra note in between the fourth and the fifth, I get this note. It sounds kind of funny on its own, but if I throw it into the mix, it sounds like this. If I play the same thing an octave higher, I get this. I'm adding a little bravado and a slight bend on the third, this makes it sound a little bluesy-er too. So, you'll hear that in a lot of riffs, you'll hear it in some blues licks. Blues, again, is certainly not limited to the Blue scale, but it's good to know. Here are a couple of examples of playing in a metal style, using the Blue scale. And, that's this lesson.

Have fun with the Blue scale.

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