I use the Blues Scale as one of my three warm-up scales. In any order, I start the morning off with the Major scale, the Harmonic Minor scale, and the Blues scale. I’ll go into the other two another day, but today, I’ll focus on the Blues scale.
What is the Blues Scale?
The Blues Scale is simply a pentatonic scale with an additional flatted fifth. It’s very simple, but sounds quite awesome.
With the following fingers:
1 – Index finger
2 – Middle finger
3 – Ring finger
4 – Pinky
Simply take the diagram and practice that pattern up and down the neck, forwards and backwards. I chose E because E has 2 dots. Let’s keep it simple.
Starting from the fat E string, play with your index finger on the twelve fret and your pinky finger on the fifteenth fret, then work your way up. Do it slowly and accurately at first. Go for accuracy first. Let speed develop with time.
Don’t rush speed
Don’t rush speed. Speed will come. You should never rush speed. That’s a shortcut you don’t want to take because your sound will suffer, big time.
You want to practice this very slowly. Get a really nice flow first. With repetition comes accuracy and with accuracy comes speed. I know speed is a bad word to some, but whatever. I happen to think you should have as many weapons in your arsenal as possible. If you can play the mean Blues, great. If you can play fast, great. Or if you can play jazzy, great. If you can be groovy, great. The more tricks you have up your sleeve, the better. Don’t limit yourself because some jackass got offended because he’s being a purist snob.
So learn this scale if you don’t already know it. Learn it up and down the neck. Become accurate at it first, then let the speed develop on its own. You can incorporate it into your licks or runs or other bags of tricks. There are times when I’ll do this one on its own too. It’s got a pretty cool sound. Add a few bends somewhere in there and you’re golden.
Image of Roman shot by Kate. Thanks Kate!