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Three Notes Per String Blues Scale

The Blues scale is one of the most widely known and used scale for every blues (obviously), jazz, rock and metal musician. It would be quite fair to say that it’s quite usually the spine of many guitarists’ style, including players from totally different genres and eras.

Theoretically, the blues scale is similar to a minor pentatonic scale (1-b3-4-5-b7) plus a chromatic approach from 4 to 5 (i .e. 1-b3-4-b5-5-b7). Traditionally, it’s being memorized and practised in the same 5 boxes that the minor pentatonic is. However, in contemporary playing it is really tempting to use the concept of 3nps and apply it to the blues scale.

Moreover, as we will see with the use of the 3nps concept, we have some shapes that are even easier to memorize (the same interval sequence repeats every two strings), can be used with all guitar techniques and cover a lot of territory (3 octaves), which is very useful for some intense and explosive-sounding licks.

In the following shapes, the picking direction uses the economy picking approach, although they can also be used with legato and alternate picking. The key chosen is A, because I know how much we all like it 🙂

This concept is one of my favourite ones and I have used it widely in many solos of mine. To get an idea of how it can be used in context you may listen to “The light is baying” from my band I Bow Candles‘s debut album , as well as the first solo from my instrumental track “Alexithymia” from my upcoming instrumental record (0.49-1.10).

 Shape 1

Shape 2

Shape 3

Shape 4

Shape 5

Shape 6

I truly hope you enjoyed this article fellow guitar-addicts. Quite soon I will upload another article concerning a modern approach to the pentatonic scales in a broader sense. Till then…keep practising 🙂


About the author : SinniK Al is a Cardiff based electric guitarist, widely known for his work with SlavEATgoD, I Bow Candles and Seduce The Heaven. Currently, he’s recording SlavEATgoD’ s sophomore record and preparing his solo instrumental record and I Bow Candles ‘ sophomore record. He is endorsed by 39 custom guitars

© 2012 SinniK Al

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1 Comment

  1. Really helpful lesson and widely used so it’s a great to have such breakdown of it in order to understand and practice what you say. Thank you very much Sinnik!