The blues scale is one of the most exciting scales to practice. Many musicians especially keyboard and guitar players say that they have spent more time practicing this scale over others. It is because of the beautiful melodic sound that it produces when played on any musical instrument.
A number of musicians and music teachers are of the view that if you are able to play minor pentatonic scales, then you will be able to play the blues scale quickly. This is because both scales are very close in structure. However, the blues has an extra note which is the raised 4th or flatted 5th. The raised fourth or lowered fifth is referred to as the blues note. This accidental gives the scale a unique sound.
There are 12 keys on the piano and so we can agree to the fact that there are 12 blues-scales that can be played on it. Now let us explore the basic structure of this type of scale.
When constructing scales such as minor, blues and pentatonic, I prefer to use the structure of the major scale as my main guide. This is because most aspiring pianists understand the concept as to how major scales work and so it is easier to compare it to other scales.
This scale named the blues is formed by choosing the 1st, flatted 3rd, 4th, sharpen 4th, 5th, flatted 7th and 8th note of a major scale. Take a look at the illustration below for a better understanding.
Blues and Jazz are two great genre of music. If you want to point out any musical genre with lots of variation and improvisation then blues and jazz are perfect examples. When you are able to play any form of blues music you will benefit from the number of riffs and solo techniques that exist. The scale is used as the main frame of creating solos.
Below is a chart with all 12 blues scales. It is very important that you practice these scales on your piano. Do not hesitate to practice these scales in all 12 keys; I am sure that you will see the benefits in time to come.
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