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Mixing Major and Minor scales for Blues ( beginners )

GeraintGuitar

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Aug 28, 2017
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115
Ive noticed a lot of guys just starting out (or just getting into the blues ) think that when playing over a blues progression you just use minor petotonic or just "the blues scale " , when in fact ONE of best techniques for a good blues (and rock ) solo is mixing both minor and major pentatonic

so whos doing it , and who's not and wants to know more ?

Geraint
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
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10,111
I don't know about that pentagramy witch stuff but I am willing to learn! Just don't unleash the hexenbiest on me!
 

GeraintGuitar

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Aug 28, 2017
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115
Im so sorry its taken me so long to post anything on this , i was going to do a video with some ideas and approaches to this technique but its not working out :dang
Anway heres a another guys video on one of the approaches to mixing the two scales , should get you started
https://youtu.be/KoZOD2mSQOo

meanwhile i'll work on get my own videos up
 

thejaf

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Oct 27, 2006
Messages
517
Learn the 6/9, aka "major pentatonic" from your root note. Playing each minor and major pentatonic over each other, you'll see a pattern of note changes, then you can add those notes for flavor (I like going major when song is on the IV chord)

Another way to look at the above, is to learn your modes. It's probably been beat to death, but Jimmy Page was very effective at this (think live versions of No Quarter or Thank You). The solos on those songs use a lot of raised (or natural) 6ths, so think Dorian mode for flavor.
 
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GeraintGuitar

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Aug 28, 2017
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115
Learn the 6/9, aka "major pentatonic" from your root note. Playing each minor and major pentatonic over each other, you'll see a pattern of note changes, then you can add those notes for flavor (I like going major when song is on the IV chord)

Another way to look at the above, is to learn your modes. It's probably been beat to death, but Jimmy Page was very effective at this (think live versions of No Quarter or Thank You). The solos on those songs use a lot of raised (or natural) 6ths, so think Dorian mode for flavor.
Yes this is all absolutely correct but my original intention for starting this thread was to ease beginner s gently into using more than just same old minor pentatonic box for all thier blues solos , but as you can see ive falied at this task by not following up with goods and for that im sorry, i just dont log in often enough . I should also add theres nothing at all wrong with just using the minor pentatonic scale , most of the best solos are just that.
 

GeraintGuitar

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Aug 28, 2017
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115
Look im gonna have another go at breaking this down simply with an easy to grasp exercise.
Lets say we're playing over a simple blues progression in A consisting of the chords A D A E D A , you know the one thats used in thousands of songs , so get your loop pedal out or find a backing track in A on youtube or even play along to crossroads by cream
just get some backing going , then over the first chord (A) play the A major pentatonic , then when the track or backing switches to the D chord use the A minor pentatonic , Then switch back to the A major pentatonic when it changes back to the A chord,
Finally when the pogression goes to the E chord use the minor pentatonic and stay on that scale while the pogression changes to D.

This is one aproach that works nicely, have a go and play about with it
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
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I often do what you describe when I am in a 3pc and playing both rhythm and lead. I can fill with a chord and then do a little lead riff off the root note of that chord, switching major/minor. The poster above "thejaf" is spot on how Jimmy Page used this technique to make his lead riffs unforgettable. It is pretty easy to for me to hit the wrong note though:)
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
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Eric Clapton is another one to study on changing major and minor scales. He does it very smoothly. His first lead break on Crossroads is a good example. For me he is a different/unique kind of lead player. Complex and a bit subtle. I learn something new listening to him just about every time.
 
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Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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746
When mixing major and minor scales, I would break things down to just pentatonic patterns, major and minor. Its then possible to have a student using five notes in one position, able to play major to minor or combine both over any I, IV, V progression without ever moving from one box position.

The later addition of major, minor, harmonic, melodic and modal patterns and scales are imho easier to build upon with a firm foundation of knowledge based upon those five note pentatonics.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
746
Yes this is all absolutely correct but my original intention for starting this thread was to ease beginner s gently into using more than just same old minor pentatonic box for all thier blues solos , but as you can see ive falied at this task by not following up with goods and for that im sorry, i just dont log in often enough . I should also add theres nothing at all wrong with just using the minor pentatonic scale , most of the best solos are just that.
With respect, how have you failed ? It isn't easy to convey detailed ideas within the confines of a forum thread. Music theory all the more so, your being a little hard on yourself imho.
It took me over an hour to convey in my response, what I could probably explain in five minutes if we were face to face.

The responses have been really good considering what a challenge this subject can be to explain, at least it is for me..
 

charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
Messages
16
Here's a thing that BB does...I call it The BB Box.
In the key of A (for instance), on the E and B strings, frets 5 and 7.
That has a major feel.
Move it up to frets 8 & 10...minor.
Move it to 10 & 12 and it's sort of a hybrid.
All the notes under your 3rd finger (or 2nd, if you play that way), can be bent a fret or 2 or 3...
Use your ears.
 
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