Using the Blues Scale-Part 1. I always tell my students that all they need to know to get a gig is their blues scales. They always think I’m joking and that there is no way it can be that easy but the truth is that 90-95% of today’s songs are in one key. The band vamps and plays the same groove and key for the whole song. The person that can stand up and play an authortative solo using the blues scale is the one who will get the gig. Unfortunately, most of the young players today don’t really know their blues scales like they should. Sure, they all say that they do but then when I have them play a solo using one it is usually dead, lifeless and uncreative. The problem is that most young people today are given advice to use a blues scale on this solo or that solo but then no one ever shows them how to use it. They are just given the scale and told to improvise.
In this lesson I take on the job of showing you exactly how to use each note of the blues scale over major,minor and dominant grooves. In Part 1, I talk in depth about how to use the blues scale over dominant chords and major 7th chords. I teach about each individual note of the scale and how it relates to the chord behind it. I also talk in depth about what I feel are the tendencies of each note and tactics that I use when playing the blues scale over static backgrounds and chords. Part 1 is mainly focused on using the A blues scale over a C7 chord as well as the added notes of Bb and F. I demonstrate all of these sounds on the tenor sax with a background track playing behind me so you can hear how these ideas sound to the music. Listen to these 3 lesson on the blues scale, practice like crazy and I’ll see you out there on a gig one of these days! Enjoy! (31 minute video lesson)