Blues School: Major Blues Scale, Theory & Ear Training

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The Major Blues Scale is the lesser known cousin of the minor blues scale…

Also known as the Jazz Blues Scale, it has a more majorish, jazzier quality than the minor blues…

C Major Blues Scale: Notation, Scale Degrees, Solfege, & Keyboard Layout…

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The C Major Blues has two very distinctive features:

  • It uses all five notes from the C Major Pentatonic Scale, but adds the blue note Eb (Me).
  • The side-by-side use of E and Eb gives the scale a simultaneous major/minor feel and is what really makes this scale tick.

Note regarding notation: You will often see Eb spelled as D# depending on the context. Do not fret over the names. It’s the sound and physical keys that count. By the way, this is a good example that illustrates the limits of “theory” and naming things: I think that Eb(D#) may be most musically described as “Mi flat” because it is really its relationship to Mi that defines it.  Again, don’t get hung up on the names. They are only training wheels that we will abandon in performance.

Ear Training

Reading and singing the Solfege syllables out loud is a very effective way to internalize the unique sound-feeling of each note in a musical scale. Reminder: It is absolutely essential that you sing these out loud… and to play and sing slowly enough to allow the unique sound-feeling of each solfege syllable to make an impression on your mind’s ear.

C Major Blues Scale: Linear, Ascending…

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C Major Blues Scale: Linear, Descending…

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C Major Blues Scale: Do-X-Do, Ascending…

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C Major Blues Scale: Do-X-Do, Descending…

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Tip: Many other patterns are possible as well, but at this point your time is better spent going right to the kinds of music that YOU want to play for your study-practice material.

learn more… Mixolydian Scale-Chords: Theory & Ear Training

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