Posts Tagged ‘blues scale’


Here’s a little something for the weekend.

Blues scales are a good way to start improvising. Based on the Major scale, the Blues Scale is made up of:
Root
Flattened 3rd
4th
Flattened 5th
5th
Flattened 7th
Octave
So following this formula, you can work out all the blues scales if you know the Major scales.

The attached sheet gives you the Blues scales up to 5 flats and 6 sharps, so there are still 3 to work out for yourselves.
Don’t try to enharmonically transpose them, because composers don’t!

At the end of each scale on the sheet is a phrase for you to learn. However, that phrase is only in 1 key. As you can see, I have numbered the first phrase so that you can easily try that phrase in different keys by using the same numbers.

Ideally, you should play the scale over the whole range if the instrument and also play the modes too. This will give you more ammunition for improvising.

Let me know how you get on.

Have a good weekend

DaveBlues Scales

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We had a really great day on the 19th with 11 people making the day of music. Hawaii 5-0 was the large ensemble piece which went well and put a smile on everybody’s face. Breaking into the quartets, Nick was kind enough to stand in as a player and leader for one of the groups. They had Satin Doll to work on. One of the other groups played the Muppets. What was interesting for me with playing the muppets was that the younger members of the group didn’t know the tune. The adults got straight into it as they grew up with the show.

In the afternoon, Nick led the improvisation section. We had emailed every body with parts to Bag’s Groove by Lionel Hampton. He led them through the head, and then explained the blues scales and how they are useful for this piece. He then took them into the world of guide tones and got every one blowing through them whilst people took it in turns to improvise.

The group learned how to trade 4s and 8s and support for others while they improvised.

What should have been an hour just grew into a full afternoon session, with a large jam to finish the afternoon.
We are hoping that Nick will join us again for the next one, as the feedback from everyone was that they had learned a lot and that Nick explained things really easily.

Chris is feeling a lot better, so hopefully he will be back with us for Decembers event. Keep an eye out for details of our next event and hope to see you there.

regards

Dave

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