The Major and Minor Blues Scales and Improvising

Did you know that their are two blues scales? A minor blues scale and a major blues scale. Many students are introduced to improvising on a blues tune using the minor blues scale. The music teacher usually says just use the same scale over the entire song.

The C minor blues scale consists of the notes: C,Eb,F,F#,G,Bb.
The biggest problem with only using this scale is that it limits what you can play and the solos tend to be boring. Furthermore many beginning improvisors don’t know how to properly resolve their ending notes. This scale is most importantly missing the major 3 and also the 2nd and the 6th.

The major blues scale may be conceived by starting with the major pentatonic scale and adding a minor 3rd. The C major blues scale consists of the notes: C,D,Eb,E,G,A.

Please not that the major blues scale contains the same notes as the minor blues scale that is down a minor 3rd. For example the C major blues scale consists of the same notes as the A minor blues scale

Practice Suggestions for simple 3 Chord blues:
1. Practice playing the ascending major blues scale over each chord.
2. Practice playing the descending major blues scale over each chord.
3. Practice playing the major blues scale over the I chord and the minor blues scale over the IV and V chords.
4.Practice moving between both scales.
5. Add the b7 and 4th to the major blues scale
6 Add the 6th or the 9th to the minor blues scale.

Do you have any suggestions for practicing the blues?

Antone’s Blues Gig

Last night I performed with Ted Hall and The Pleasure Cats at the legendary Antone’s blues club. It was a surreal experience to realize that I was performing on the same stage that the following people have performed on: Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lonely Boys, Ian Moore, Bob Schneider, Bono & The Edge of U2, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, Dwight Yoakam, Bruce Willis, Elvis Costello and many others.

Ted Hall’s Blues Church/Jam

This past Sunday night I attended Ted Hall’s Blues Church/Jam at Jax Neighborhood Cafe near the U.T campus. The jam session is from 8PM-Midnight and musicians of all levels are invited. The house band is named “The Pleasure Cats”. The house band had a horn section consisting of  Dave Boostrum on trumpet and valve trombone, Tommy Wald on baritone sax and  Art Markman on tenor sax. Everyone in the band was very friendly to me and I had a great time playing the blues.

Ted Hall is a wonderful guitar player and owns the Austin Guitar School. If you’re are looking for a good guitar teacher – contact Ted!

Backing Tracks for Jazz Blues Variation 1 in all 12 keys with Charts

The blues chord changes appear in more jazz songs than any other harmonic structure. The importance of learning how to play over these changes cannot be over emphasized.

I am providing a workout on jazz blues  in all 12 keys. Be sure to try Evan Tate’s 250 Jazz Patterns and Steve Neff’s blues lessons  over these backing tracks in all 12 keys.

I am including a player for all of the backing music. The backing tracks are all in Concert key. For example, if you play the tenor saxophone and select a backing track in the key of C – you will use a pdf chart in the key of D.

Have fun working through all 12 keys!

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - C (1949)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - Dflat (904)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - D (806)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - Eflat (789)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - E (833)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - F (856)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - Fsharp (773)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - G (788)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - Aflat (745)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - A (736)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - Bflat (872)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 - B (755)

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of C follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of Db follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of D follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of Eb follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of E follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of F follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of Fsharp follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of G follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of Ab follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of A follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of Bb follows:
 

Jazz Blues Variation 1 in the Key of B follows:
 

Blues Workout in all 12 Keys with Charts and Backing Tracks

I am providing a simple three chord rock shuffle blues in all 12 keys. Be sure to try Evan Tate’s 250 Jazz Patterns and Steve Ness’s Dominant Bebop Scale ideas over the blues in all 12 keys.

I am including a player for all of the backing music. The backing tracks are all in Concert key. For example, if you play the tenor saxophone and select a backing track in the key of C – you will use a pdf chart in the key of D.

Have fun working through all 12 keys!

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key C (1462)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key Db (838)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key D (881)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key Eb (793)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key E (759)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key F (762)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key Fsharp (725)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key G (760)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key Ab (723)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key A (770)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key Bb (803)

Three Chord Rock Shuffle Blues - Key B (707)

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of C follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of Db follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of D follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of Eb follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of E follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of F follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of Fsharp follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of G follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of Ab follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of A follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of Bb follows:
 

Rock Shuffle Blues in the Key of B follows: