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Video:What Is the Blues Scale on a Guitar?

with Nick

The blues scale is an essential part of learning guitar. The blues scale helps students learn to solo and overall understanding of guitar. Check out this video for how to play the blues scale on guitar.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is the Blues Scale on a Guitar?

Hi, I'm Nick for About.com and today I'm going to teach you how to play the blues scale on guitar. The blues scale is one of the most commonly used scales in modern music and can be used in a number of different genres.

Know the Strings and Notes on the Guitar

First lets learn the strings. Starting from the thickest, the strings are E, A, D, G, B and E. The frets are on the neck of the guitar. Here we can see frets 1, 2, 3 and 4. Your fingers are also assigned numbers. This makes it easier to know which finger is supposed to go where!

Use the Right Fingers to Play the Blues Scale

The blues scale is referred to as the movable scale as it can be played on any of the frets. For this example, let’s start on the 5th fret. Play all the notes on the 5th fret with your first finger, the notes on the 6th fret with your 2nd finger, everything on the 7th fret with your 3rd finger and use your 4th finger for the notes on the 8th fret.

Practice Accuracy on the Blue Scale Before Speed

Let’s see how that looks in practice. Play each note individually, starting with the E string on the 5th fret. Remember to use your 1st finger. From here, follow the sequence to play the full scale: 8th fret of E, frets 5, 6 and 7 of A, frets 5 and 7 of D, frets 5, 7 and 8 of G and frets 5 and 8 of B and then E. Play slowly at first – remember, the key is accuracy rather than speed! Once you feel a bit more confident, try increasing your pace, until you can comfortably play the scale. For an extra challenge, you might want to try playing the scale backwards as well as forwards. With practice, you’ll begin to find the task much easier.

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