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The Blues Scale on the Bass Guitar

There is not a "heavy metal" scale. Not a "country" scale. But there is a blues scale. And this blues scale is not just used in blues music. But it will definitely add a bluesy sound to what ever style you plug it into.

A blues scale is nothing more than a minor pentatonic scale with an added note. That added note is sometimes referred to as the "blue note". That particular note creates a certain amount of tension that is a common sound in the blues.

Below is a basic minor pentatonic scale form, and then that same form with the addition of the "blue note".....appropriately colored...blue.

Basic minor pentatonic

Basic blues

= Numbers show the suggested fingering
= Scale root
= Added blue note

The blues scale only consists of 6 different note names. But when playing a blues scale on the electric bass you are going to play more than just 6 notes. You are going to play all of the possible places for those 6 notes within one position.

A C blues scale consists of the notes C E F G G and B. Below are the names of all of the note in a basic C blues scale form.

|--E-|-----|--F--|-G--| -1st string
|--B-|-----|--C--|-----|
|--F--|-G--|--G--|-----|
|--C--|-----|-----|-E--| -4th string
   |
  8th fret

So you see that there are only 6 different note names. Once you reach the 6th note, you will start back with the C note again.

|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--| -1st string
|--6--|-----|--1--|-----|
|--3--|--4--|--5--|-----|
|--1--|-----|-----|--2--| -4th string
   |
  8th fret

So keep in mind as you play the other blues scale forms found in this lesson, they will not neatly start and end on the root of the scale. They are just forms that cover all of the note possibilities in an entire position.

Page 2, the blues scale formula



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