Major Blues

Major – Blues – Scale

On the ScaleTwister the major pentatonic is listed with two Blue Notes. The traditional Blues form is 12 measures long and has a chord progression of I degree (Tonic), the IV degree (Subdominant) and the V degree (Dominant). Playing the 12 measures is called chorus and over the whole progression the same blues scale can be played.

hear the Blues-Scale


General Blues Scale

You can always use the general blues scale it does not matter if it is a major or minor blues. It is a minor pentatonic scale expanded with a diminished fifth. Here is the construction:

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B.B.King Blues-Scale

B. B. King uses a variation of the general blues scale, instead of the diminished VII degree the VI degree is used and thus it sounds happier.


For a major blues you can also embed the Blue Notes into the pentatonic major scale or the mixolydian major scale.


Major- Blues 1: xpanded Pentatonic Major Scale

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You can find the mixolydian major scale with Blue Notes on the Dom7 color circle.


Major Blues 2, Expanded Mixolydian Scale

You can find the mixolydian mode on the V degree of the major scale. This scale contains already the diminished VII degree and has a major characteristic too.

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The real Blue Notes are between Eb and E, Bb and B or Gb and G. With string instruments this effect is realized by playing for example Eb and then bending the string slightly.

With wind instruments Blue Notes are played with the so called „lipping down“ technique, by e. g. playing an E and then changing the note downwards. On the ScaleTwister you can find various Blues Scales. This link gets you to an overview of blues scales.

Example of a major blues progression with suitable scales

If you constantly play the same blues scale over the entire chorus you might run out of ideas. Fortunately you have access to other scales to keep your improvisation interesting.

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Major Blues Scales/strong>

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Minor – Blues – Scales

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Dom7- Blues – Scales

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