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Blues Scales

Blues Scale Charts

The blues scale is made up of six notes per octave. The six note (hexatonic) blues scale is the exact same scale as the minor pentatonic scale except there’s one extra note added per octave: the sharp 4th or flat 5th degree. The blue dots in each diagram represent these additional “blues” notes and the black dots represent the scale root notes.

A Blues Scale:

Bb Blues Scale:

B Blues Scale:

C Blues Scale:

C# Blues Scale:

D Blues Scale:

Eb Blues Scale:

E Blues Scale:

F Blues Scale:

F# Blues Scale:

G Blues Scale:

G# Blues Scale:

Tips and tricks

Country and bluegrass lead guitar players love to use the blues scale in their solos. Also, in many country and bluegrass songs, the “blues” note goes very well with the major pentatonic scale. In other words, try switching back and forth between the major pentatonic scale and the blues scale when you are improvising. Start by picking one position from each and switch between the two. You’ll be able to hear how the two complement each other.

Practice makes perfect

It’s always a good idea to learn the minor pentatonic scale before the blues scale. That way, it is much easier to distinguish between the two once you add in the extra “blues” note. Also, we recommend you start by learning the first position. Master the first position and then memorize the remaining positions one at a time.

Try creating different licks within that position. Experiment with different ways of connecting the positions of the blues scale. For example, you can slide various notes up and down, hammer on, stretch your fingers to hit three consecutive notes on a string, or just shift your hands up or down on the neck. The key is practice and repetition.

Stay tuned!

Going forward, we’ll continue to post different licks structured around various positions of the pentatonic and blues scales. We’ll start with more basic riffs and then work our way up to advanced. Eventually you should have a pretty cool collection of riffs that will help you in your journey to learning how to play lead guitar all the way up and down the neck of the guitar.