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Reason #1: If you are really into blues, then you may find this helpful. If you don't like blues very much, you should learn to keep your mind open to good music. My advice is not to categorize music in 'jazz', 'metal', 'blues', 'funk' and so on... there are only two types of music - good music, which makes the world a better place, and bad music.
Reason #2: if you are a total beginner in learning guitar (to whom this lesson is actually aimed to), blues is perfect for you, because it's great to learn how to improvise on.
Down to business...
Minor Pentatonic Scales
A pentatonic scale is a scale that contains only five notes, and are quite popular in western music.
You could say they derive from major or minor scales. If you have a major (or minor) scale that have seven notes, and take out two notes, you'll get a five-note scale.
Let's take a look at minor pentatonics:
Let's say we have the A minor (aeolyan) scale, which is: A - B - C - D - E - F - G.
If we take out the second and sixth notes, we get:
A - C - D - E - G, which happens to be the A minor pentatonic scale.
Go up and down A minor scale, and then move on to A minor pentatonic scale? Hear the difference?
As an exercice, play both A minor and A minor pentatonic scale across the fretboard (you already know the notes!)
Once you've done this, let's move forwards.
Da blue note: this is nothing more than the flattened fifth degree. Play now A minor pentatonic scale, but add bE now (Let's not say d#, so as not to repeat note's names. A minor pentatonic with the bluw note added - or 'A Blue Scale' - is: A - C - D - Eb - E - G).
WOW! WHAT'S HAPPENED HERE! that flattened fifth changes it all, doesn't it?
I want you to take your time and listen to great bluesman guitar players, like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Blues is all about playing very brief but emotional-filled phrases, and then stop. It's about playing and stops. Say what you have to say and shut up. Silence is a key part in a blues motive.
I highly recommend to record yourself playing a twelve-bar blues progressions. Blues progressions are basically made from seventh chords in a shuffle feel: I7 - IV7 - V7 is an easy sequence. I'm sorry, but you are on your own here, I'm going to supose you know what a twelve-bar blues progression, since you can find examples without any difficulty on the web.
Above your recordings, play this licks and use them on your improvisations.
B.B. king uses this minor 'little scale' a lot (this one is in A position):
 is the root note here, A note.
I know this lesson might not look very useful at first, but if you listen to some blues and learn your scales, hopefully things will start to work out.
I'm uploading a short lick for you to hear, using A minor pentatonic and BBking's scale. I hope this shows you what I mean. And I hope you like it, the sound is not very good though, you better turn your volume up.
Nice stuff dude, I'm sure beginners will benefit from this lesson.
hey, thanks a lot jazzmaverick!
Al Di Meola is a friggen legend, I have all of his albums :D
YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! I had to cut like half of the lick and save it in a lousy, low-quality format, but hey! It's been uploaded, thanks!
why is blues good music? i dont care for blues what so ever, its the one genre that doesnt appeal to me. yes jazz i have to agree with you that al di meola is a legend. midnight tango is my favourite song
You gotta read the comments guitarmaster. Good and bad music according to the lesson teacher is not the same for everyone. For OP, blues makes him feel a certain way and affects in a manner that moves him, making it good music to him. If it doesn't move you or make you feel a certain way, it doesn't have to be good music to you! :)
Dude you know your stuff
you make me blush, guythatwantstoplaygooduitarandhopefullygoodmusicwhichdefinitelyincludesbluestooguy. (that might make me look stupid)
Thank very much for taking the time to give a great lesson
Dude, GMG, chill. Every topic about blues you post about why you don't like it, etc. Nobody posts about how they don't think your music isn't good, and takes no skill, and isn't exciting, so let it be.
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