Blues Guitar Scales

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Special Blues Guitar Scales

Blues guitar scales are one of the five most useful scales in Western music. Over the centuries, other scales have lost favor; today, most musicians choose a scale from among the major or minor scales, major or minor pentatonic scales, or blues scales. A major scale has seven different notes (eight, if you count the root note at the beginning and an octave higher at the end of the scale).

Each difference in pitch between any two notes is an interval. Each type of scale has its own arrangement of intervals. A major scale has this sequence: tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone. What does this mean? Simply that the interval between the first two notes is a whole tone. On a keyboard, this means going from one white key to the next. Semitones occur when you hit a white key and then the adjacent black key. In other words, a semitone is a half-tone.

Guitar Scales Chart: Great Learning Tool

To stick with the keyboard a moment longer, the black keys represent sharps and flats, those semitones that are in between whole tones, or notes. The blues scale in the key of A, for instance, would be A, three semitones (augmented second), C, two semitones, D, one semitone, Eb (flat), one semitone, E, three semitones (augmented second), G, two semitones, A. Augmented seconds equal three semitones. Comparable notes would be used in blues guitar scales.

If, however, you don't know musical notation or theory, and you want to start playing something right away, a fabulous way into the whole mathematical world of music is through charts of chords and scales. While the charts on the Internet and in books are accurate, they are inconvenient to use. Consider a large, detailed, color-coded wall chart which shows you everything from chords, scales, keys, to fingering positions!

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