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Learning the blues scale in all keys.

BrianJoeSandy

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269
After taking pentatonic pairs 12 45 around the circle of fourths I realised 1245 in I is 5612 in IV and it is a short step to taking the blues scale around since 1 2 4 5 5# 6 is the blues scale if you start on 2. Does anyone else's brain work this way?
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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Nope you totally lost me:shocked::shocked::shocked:

I am going to have to have words with my tutor about this...john
 
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rhysonsax

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I've not heard of "pentatonic pairs" before, but do understand and use the relationship between the pentatonic scales and the blues scales.

I think of the minor pentatonic as having the same notes as the major pentatonic of the relative major. Then the (minor) blues scale is the same notes as the major pentatonic of the relative major + an additional note. So A minor blues = C (major) pentatonic with an added D#/Eb.

I also think of the major blues scale as being the same notes as the (minor) blues scale of the relative minor. So C major blues = A minor blues = C (major) pentatonic with an added D#/Eb.

It could help me and others understand this if you spell it out in note names.......

Are you saying ? (for instance in C):

12 45 for I chord (C) = C D F G
12 45 for IV chord (F) = F G Bb C
56 12 for IV chord (F) = C D F G

12 45 for I chord (Bb) = Bb C Eb F
12 45 for IV chord (Eb) = Eb F Ab Bb
56 12 for IV chord (Eb) = Bb C Eb F


Blues scale for I chord (C) = C Eb F F# G Bb
245 5# 61 for Bb = C Eb F F# G Bb
Blues scale for IV chord (F) = F Ab Bb B C Eb

Now my head is swimming and I need to take it for a cycle.

Rhys
 
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BrianJoeSandy

Member
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269
Are you saying ? (for instance in C):

12 45 for I chord (C) = C D F G
12 45 for IV chord (F) = F G Bb C
56 12 for IV chord (F) = C D F G

12 45 for I chord (Bb) = Bb C Eb F
12 45 for IV chord (Eb) = Eb F Ab Bb
56 12 for IV chord (Eb) = Bb C Eb F


Blues scale for I chord (C) = C Eb F F# G Bb
245 5# 61 for Bb = C Eb F F# G Bb
Blues scale for IV chord (F) = F Ab Bb B C Eb

That's right. I notice also that 1245 for I becomes 7b 1 3b 4 for II so could be used over a I to IIm7 change. Is that interesting?
Also pretty safe with 1245 over most types of I chord - major, minor, dominant ... I'm no expert just learning impro very slowly!
 

ellinas

Senior Member
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984
unkle willie burns my mind but his concept is highly musical.
I think I'll try to "Decode" his concept during this month.
 

kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
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1,736
I flagged up Uncle Willie and http://www.jazzeveryone.com/ on this forum some time ago.

He is well worth a look.

If you pause the video at the appropriate points you can copy his diagrams and stuff by hand and figure out what he is talking about more easily. Hell, you could even do his course for a few bucks...
 

kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
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1,736
Here is a plan for all twelve keys...

If you take a simple blues melody and improvise on the changes, and then figure out the melody, memorise it, and then try to improvise on it in these four keys - C, A, F#/Gb and D#/Gb (only one at a time, mind, unless you are into polytonal blues in a big way...) - you will spend some time in all twelve keys/scales/tonal centres/modes or whatever you want to call them (they won't mind!) and you will be getting used to improvising in them.

Make it a sixteen bar blues or even a twenty four bar blues and give yourself more space on the V... I see Wikipedia gives a selection of sixteen bar blues changes. You get plenty of practice on the tonic, of course...

You could play and improvise on a blues in a different key every week - or whatever it takes, moving on when you feel you have it licked. You could spread this exploration over as long as it takes...

When you feel good about it with the four original keys, choose four different keys (those which were the V chord in the first four blues makes sense) and away you go again . Then, when you have punished that enough, using the IV chords as a starting point... you will then have give all of them a good bashing and should be pretty damn hot in all keys...

A few things will probably hit you: the more different keys you play the blues in, the better you get at hearing the changes; you are liable to get an itch of enthusiasm to learn to use favourite licks in keys you have never played them in; and you will find new licks and stuff appear as if by magic because your are trying to improvise in keys/scales you may not have used much before... which you can then transpose back into your old tried and tested keys... which gives you a very hands on, ear and fingers learning experience.

This is a step or two on from from playing licks and basic melodies around the cycle of fourths, which is also great. The more often you use the cycle, and the more ways you find to use it, the more you get out of it...

Here are the I IV V chords you will use playing a blues in these four different keys:

Blues in C - C F G

Blues in A - A D E

Blues in F# - F# B C#

Blues in D# - D# G# A# .......... or Eb Ab Bb if you prefer...

Anyone who is not vary confident at improvising yet could just play a memorised blues melody around each bunch of four keys.... start with a blues in C, say, and then try to transpose it into A, F# and D# by ear and intuition. Resort to paper if you have to, or if you want to check you are transposing the melody accurately.... whatever advances your skills. If your brain goes numb, take a break and play around with something else.....
 
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Jonesy

Old Fart At Play
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738
After taking pentatonic pairs 12 45 around the circle of fourths I realised 1245 in I is 5612 in IV and it is a short step to taking the blues scale around since 1 2 4 5 5# 6 is the blues scale if you start on 2. Does anyone else's brain work this way?

Sharka, when the walls fell.
 
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