Major Blues Scale Guitar Fretboard Patterns- Chart, Key of C - Jay Skyler (415)845-5471 Guitar Lessons, San Francisco CA 94102
C Major Blues Scale
The Guitar Fretboard Diagrams show all 5 CAGED system forms of the Major Blues Scale on the guitar neck in the key of C.
This is an essential scale that every guitar player should eventually know.Unlike the Major or Minor scale, which have functional (meaning they sound good at least sometimes) modes built on every note in the scale, the Blues Scale only has one functional mode, the Major Blues scale mentioned above. The Major Blues scale is built on the flatted third scale degree ( ♭3 ). The Minor Blues Scale, not the Major Blues, is "Standard" The Minor Blues scale is the far more commonly used scale of the two, so as in the norm in music, it gets shortened to "The Blues Scale." Its just like with chords. If I asked you to play a G chord you would (I hope) play a G Major chord. Since the most common type of chord is major we can shorten the name of G Major chord to just G chord. So when we say "the Blues Scale" we are just using a shortened name for the Minor Blues Scale. If we want to refer to the Major Blues scale we must say "Major Blues Scale".
The Major Blues Scale is usually a safe choice against both Dominant and Major progressions. See:
- Major Scale Guitar Fretboard Patterns- Chart, Key of C
- C Ionian Mode Guitar Scale Patterns- 5 Position Chart
- Dominant 7th Scale Guitar Patterns- Chart, Key of G
- G Mixolydian Mode Guitar Scale Patterns- 5 Position Chart
Blues (Minor Blues) Scale Guitar Patterns- Chart, Key of A
Dominant Blues Progressions use Dominant 7th Chords
A Dominant Blues uses Dominant Seventh (7th) chords. Rarely do you hear them called Dominant 7th chords, though. Because a Dominant 7th chord is the most common form of seventh chord, we shorten the name to seventh chord.
So an A Dominant seventh chord is written A7, and pronounced either "A Seventh" or A "Seven". So your regular old 7th chord is really a dominant seventh. You could also have a Major Seventh, Minor Seventh, or Diminished Seventh chord (a half-diminished chord always has a seventh so we don't need to say "half diminished seventh").
Minor Blues Progressions use both Minor 7th and Dominant 7th chords
A minor blues uses primarily minor 7th chords. The last chord of a Blues chord Progression must always a Dominant Seventh chord.
The Default Blues Progression is Dominant Not Minor
So when you hear "play a 12 Bar Blues" you assume it to be dominant, because its the most common type. See the 7th chord discussion above.