Plugging in the Blue Note
To further build on the concepts I presented in Lesson Two–Seeing Shapes and Patterns, let’s alter the sound of the pentatonic scale by plugging an additional note into all five shapes or permutations. A traditional E blues scale would consist of the notes e, g, a, b flat, b natural, d and high e.
In order to truly learn this scale all over the neck of your instrument, let’s take a look at the key of G major (which is relative to E minor).
If we were to plug the blue note “b flat” into all five of the G major pentatonic shapes, we would come up with five new sounding patterns of notes. Start with the G major pentatonic scale from root position all the way to the top of your neck.
Now let’s plug in the blue note “b flat”.
Follow this concept by adding the blue note into the correct location for all five shapes.
Remember to practice all five shapes in all twelve keys. You should be listening to various blues guitarist, vocalists, and musicians on various different instruments that have a firm grasp of the blues. Study their phrasing and the different ways they employ the blues scale. Try to feel their emotions and make an emotional connection to the phrases and the music. Good Luck….