Beginner’s Guide To Jamming: The E Blues Scale

By: Josh Lucas

Just a quick mission statement: the reason why it’s called a beginner’s guide to jamming is because I’m giving a couple of quick easy scale patterns, and a couple of examples. I’m not going to get heavy into theory on these particular blog posts, but it’s some stuff that you can take and use to either jam with other people, or play by yourself with a backing track.

The main idea is just to get you to visualize the right patterns, and get started playing rhythm and lead guitar.

This time around we’re going to take a look at the blues scale, and how we can incorporate it into what we learned in the last blog post.

So, you already know the minor pentatonic scale. The blues scale takes this scale, and adds a note to it that makes it feel a little extra tense. Here’s the minor pentatonic pattern, and beside it the blues scale pattern.

Now here are a couple of licks where I incorporate the blues scale into the minor pentatonic pattern, and then a couple more where I start to throw in some notes from the major pentatonic. You’ll hear some T-Bone Walker flavor in a couple of licks. Or at least you should, because I’m stealing one directly from him.

Also note that I’ve chosen not to show most of my articulations, as far as hammer-ons and pull-off’s. I think picking patterns can vary from player to player, but for what it’s worth I tend to pick the first note on each string, and hammer on or pull off to the next one or two notes on the string.

Let me know if this helped you, and feel free to shoot me some ideas of what you’d like to see next. I love all styles of music, and I’ve been in rock, jazz, metal, country, hardcore punk, hip hop, acoustic, indie rock, jam bands–you name it and someone, somewhere, for some reason–thought it was a good idea to have me try it out with them. 

So this doesn’t have to be confined to the blues! 

But I’ll tell you, I can’t think of a better place to start.

Catch you all next time.