E Blues scale

Animated E Blues scale tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is from the Jamzone - 12 Bar Blues 2 Solo A article where we use the E blues scale for the basis of a typical blues solo.

The blues scale contains 6 notes. It is just like the pentatonic minor scale, with an extra note - the b5th note. This means, in relation to the major scale the degrees for the blues scale are:

1 -b3- 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 - 1
E - G - A - Bb - B - D - E

The 3 flat notes (b3, b5, b7) are the 3 'blue notes' in the blues scale. The b5 note being the most distinctive blue note.

Here we play through the E blues scale in 3 common positions, across 2 octaves each time.

First we start with the 'open position' (Starting from the Low E and working up through to the high open E string)

Next we start at Fret 7 on the A string and work through to fret 12 of the high E string.

Lastly we play across the E blues scale starting from the Low E at fret 12 and working up to the high E at fret 12.

For each scale we cycle through 2 octaves, giving us this progression of notes each time:

E - G - A - Bb - B - D - E - G - A - Bb - B - D - E

In other words, we play from E through to E (1 octave) and then continue on to the next highest E (2nd octave).

The Normal speed audio shows how the scales sound when played faster.

Notice the blue notes give a distinctive flavour to the scale - particularly the Bb note. Also notice that the Bb appears inbetween the A and B notes, meaning we play through 3 successive frets in a row. Click here and play to see the most obvious example. This is a very unusual occurrence for scales, and further distinguishes the Blues scale from other types of scale.

Keep practicing these scales - playing them up and down until you get fluid and faster at them. Remember to use alternate pick strokes as you progress from note to note. The ActionTab shows the correct pick stroke directions. Then have a go at the Jamzone Solo, and when you've got a hang of things, start using these scales to make up your own licks and melodies over the 12 Bar backing track!

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