Tag: Blues form

More Advanced Blues stuff (the Miles/Robben thing)

Advanced pentatonic stuff.

There are when times you can get bored of playing just the pentatonic on a blues, or maybe you’ve heard more contemporary blues players like Robben Ford, or blues influenced jazz guys like John Scofield and Scott Henderson. Well, here I come to help you out with a couple of tips: first I go over the ‘blues scale’, still quite a basic concept. Just add the b5 to a minor pentatonic and there you go, you have the ‘blues scale’.

A much more interesting thing happens when you start mixing up the H-W Diminished scale with a minor or major pentatonic scale. This will give you a few nice tensions:

Half step – Whole step Diminished scale in C:

C  Db  Eb  Fb  Gb  G  A   Bb
T  b2   b3  3    b5  5 13  b7

C minor pentatonic:

C  Eb  F  G  Bb
T  b3  4  5  b7

C major Pentatonic:

C  D  E  G  A
T  2   3  5  6

Well, mix and match tastefully and you’ll get some new flavors, guaranteed. Listen to some of the examples I play in the video. Good luck!

Basic pentatonic major-minor

Basic Pentatonic stuff

I will not get too much into pentatonics as you can find stuff all over the net. Too much has been said and done on the famous ‘pentatonic box’…As I say in the video, a major pentatonic is a major scale without the 4thand 7th degree. So C major pentatonic is: C D E G A These are the 5 positions for the major pentatonic, in the example in G major (but valid for all keys). Of course, remember that if you start from the 6th (the 5th note of the pentatonic – also ‘box’ N.5) you will have the relative minor. In the example in G the minor pentatonic will be E, just like E minor is the relative minor of a G major scale. The last box at the bottom right is the famous ‘blues scale’…a minor pentatonic with an added b5. Try and learn them just like we did for the major scale…all keys, down every single string, from lowest note to highest note on the fretboard and so on. Find the ‘5 boxes’ position fingerings below:

Printable PDF: Pentatonic Fingerings

3 simple 12 bar blues forms

I am quite a big fan of the blues, and I definitely advice studying no matter if you like it or not, as the majority of modern music originates or relates to this genre.

The most popular blues form is based around 12 bars. The first four are usually filled by the I7 chord. So this is the first characteristic of the blues: when we talk about a ‘blues in C’ we don’t strictly mean C major. The center of gravity of the whole structure is based around a Dominant 7th chord (the chord that sits on the 5th degree of the Harmonized Major Scale, so to speak) instead of a major7th chord. The following two bars are filled by another Dominant 7th chord, but this time on the fourth degree (IV7). Two bars of I7 follow. The last four bars are made up by one bar of V7 (the dominant chord on the 5th degree), one bar of IV7, one of I7 and finally another bar of V7 to ‘turnaround’ back to the top.

| I7     |         |        |         |

| IV7   |          |I7    |         |

|V7     |IV7    | I7    |V7      |

In the video I suggest two more advanced forms. Just download and print out the PDF file, learn the chords and go to the next step, the pentatonic.

Printable PDF: Three Basic 12 Bar Blues Forms