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A Blues Scale

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

In my latest video tutorial, I demonstrated how to play an A Blues scale, and the differences between the more commonly known A Major scale. In an A Major scale, for instance, we have the following scale degrees (as with any major scale), that follow the traditionally major Whole Whole Half Whole Whole Whole Half step pattern throughout:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 1


A - B - C sharp - D - E - F sharp - G sharp - A

If you've never seen it spelled out in this way it might look a little foreign, but as long as you've played the A Major scale before and know that the key of A Major has three sharps, you should be golden.

In a BLUES scale, however, we have the following scale degrees:

1 - flat 3 - 4 - flat 5 - 5 - flat 7 - 1

which, if you're more into the note names, translates to:

A - C - D - E flat - E - G - A

Little different, right?

Don't let this intimidate you though, because if you commit these seven little notes (not counting the second A) to memory, you will open up a whole world of Blues magic for yourself.

As I mentioned in the video, there are many ways to practice improvising using this singular blues scale, and I encourage you to try as many as you can! Get creative! Mix it up! Because, as we all know, that is the very best way to learn.

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