Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar

Blues Scales – Learn Guitar – TAB and Dots

Have you ever been frustrated when people are playing a Blues and you’re not sure what scales and notes you can use to solo with?

Suffer no longer.

If you’ve been playing guitar for sometime, and don’t know these simple blues scales, I advise that you get stuck into them straight away.  I’ve done the basic blues scales in five keys: C , G, D, A, and E.  The fingers I’ve used are on one of many possibilities.  If you are new to my site and have played blues scales before, you’ll notice I’ve used some unusual fingerings, this IS intentional.  As a rule guitarists get lazy and sit and meander through scales, running fingers up and down the neck with out too much thought, that way of doing things has little to do with music and a lot to do with mechanics…I can’t stand it.  These fingers are designed to make you think and feel the notes.  Avoid playing like a robot.  you’ll notice that the D scale is moveable, it’s more in the traditional way of playing scales and if you aren’t careful you may find yourself not thinking too much about this one. 

Concentrate, turn of the television, listen to the texture of the notes.  I particularly like the use of open notes in scales, they are tremendous on acoustic guitar.


Blues Scales - Learn Guitar

Click the blue link for the Printable Version of essential blues scales for guitar

For Country Blues Scales that are usable over thousands of songs go to:



Worlds Best Acoustic Guitar Blogger

14 thoughts on “Blues Scales – Learn Guitar – TAB and Dots

  1. Thanks Rick for pointing this out, currently there seems to be an issue with uploading the pdf’s to wordpress, have never experienced that before. Will fix ASAP


  2. Great! This page is helpful to work on other keys and forms of the Pentatonic Blues. I’m a beginner but see your point about getting stuck in the box of the scale. I’ve been putting in practice time to learn the G Blues scale forms. Brad Davis’ site for his book, Flatpicking the Blues, has some good exercises that I’ve been working.

    It would be helpful if you could give an example of free-forming in a blues scale.


  3. Thanks for the practical feedback Rick.

    I will be putting al sorts of resources together. I assume what you call free-forming is what I’ve called improvisation for almost 40 years.

    I think a great place to come from is to hum or sing a part and then work out how to play it. A lot of guys just run their hands up and down the fretboard playing the right notes, this for me is not such a great approach. The idea is to get the sounds into your head and learn how to play them. I developed a very strong melodic approach by learning to play the melodies of numerous songs and then learn how to build around the melody. The bluegrass players are very good at this, and this is a great style for developing fluency, second only to classical Indian music. The training in Indian music is much more rigorous than any other style, wheras the bluegrass is very relaxed…. but darn fast


  4. Hey Tony My name is Joe and i just found your web site and i think its great it really helped me out with playing the irish washer women im a beginner on the guitar and with your web site i learned pretty qiuck how to play it with what i learned on the web site well thanks and merry christmas and a happy new year

  5. Joe

    That’s great. It’s amazing how fast we learn when we are keen. The Irish tunes are great to develop speed and fluency. Try Soldiers Joy and Rights of Man, I might post an arrangement at some point as well.

    You might also like to check out my other site. Similar with different content.

    Tony and Merry Christmas

    1. The guitar uses the same as every other instrument. Standard notes plus sharps and flats. From the bass string to the high strings are listed below.

      E string: E, F , F sharp, G, G sharp, A ( and keep going up the string or
      A string: A, A sharp, B, C, C sharp,
      D string: D , D sharp, E , F, F sharp,
      G string: G , G sharp, A, A sharp,
      B string: B, C, C sharp, D, D sharp,
      E string: E, F , F sharp, G, G sharp, A and continues

      Take a close look at the pattern.
      Also, the sharp notes will have equivalent flats, depending on the application and key

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s