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Darrin Koltow
MaximumMusician.com

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Blues Scales for Soloing
By Darrin Koltow
MaximumMusician.com

Other lessons in the Scales for Soloing series
Pentatonics
Other pentatonics
Blues

We're back to talking about scales to use for improvising. Here's the sample phrase we've been improvising over:

||: C major, A minor, D minor, G7 :||

In previous chapters we improvised with the C major pentatonic and then the G major pentatonic. See the archives of this newsletter for details.

Now we're going to use yet another scale to play over this phrase in C major, with the intention of hearing some Blues. Here's the pattern we're going to use:

|-------------------3-6----|
|-----------------4--------|
|-------------3-5----------|
|---------3-5--------------|
|-----3-6------------------|
|-3-6----------------------|

Play this pattern just shown over a tape recording or midi file of the C major progression.

How did it sound? We can get it to sound even better by highlighting those bluesey dissonances like this: start out playing the G major pentatonic (described in the last article) over the progression, and then after a few seconds play the Eb major pattern just given.

This pattern is the Eb major or C minor pentatonic. Yes, it has two names. It's not a true blues scale, but it conveys the feeling of the blues. And that feeling comes from just two notes within the Eb major: Eb and Bb. Playing those two over chords in the C major scales produces the sweet, "incorrect" intervals we call the Blues.

We now have three different scales to play over the C major progression. Are you ready for yet another? We'll dig in next time.

© 2006 Darrin Koltow, All rights reserved
www.MaximumMusician.com


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