Let's talk about some blues scales....

  1. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Hi! I've been using these charts I made to explore and organize my thinking about playing bluesy mandolin breaks. Sometimes a blues solo sounds minor and sometimes it sounds more major. These two charts show the interaction between the minor and major pentatonic scales. I've overlapped the two scales and 'ghosted back' the major pentatonic scale so that these notes become choices that can be selected and added to a solo. Another important note is the b5 which is also shown.

    It looks scary at first but if you break it down into positions it becomes a little easier to understand and apply to a solo. I hope this prompts a lively discussion about the different ways to approach a blues solo... and let me know if I made any errors in the charts please!

    These charts can be downloaded here (free and in pdf form):

  2. bluesmandolinman
    Hi Michael
    as I really dig both your bluesmandolin videos I feel forced to give you an answer instead of ignoring it.
    Unfortunatly my musical understanding regarding terms and names of notes,chords etc is very limited so my answer will not really help you. Sorry.
    On the other hand this question has been asked many times before on the mandolincafe forum.
    Maybe you want to check the answers there.
    Here is the last topic of this very question : blues scales

    Cheers, René
    please post more videos... they are awesome ( especially your F2 with E tuning )
  3. bmac
    As an avid bues player I too have to admit that since the age of roughly 14 I have avoided anything (about blues) that reauires reading music. I learn blues and play blues but do not analize blues. Or analize it as little as I can get away with.. I am legally blind so that qualifies me as a blues player. What more does a blues player have to be???
    Gee whiz!!!
  4. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Thanks, bluesmandolinman for the link to the blues scales discussion. I made the above charts for my own use in trying to understand how other players navigate a blues progression. Way back in college I took a few music theory classes which have since provided a framework for my understanding of the mandolin and the instruments I play. However I'm really a folk musician who just plays by ear. And I'd agree with bmac about reading music for the blues. Playing the blues is the very best way to really learn.
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