The Ultimate Blues Scale Piano Playing Guide

Blues music has extensive roots in the culture of America. The exact beginning of this music genre is disputed, but many believe it began around the 1890s.

One of the main features in blues music is a blues scale. This type of scale is actually used in many other types of music including jazz, pop, R&B, and others!

These basic scales will allow you to play existing pieces of music and create your own works of art.

If you are eager to begin playing, but are unsure about the scales, keep reading. Listed below is a blues scale piano guide that will have you playing the blues in no time!

Understand the Theory

While you may think a blues scale is complicated, the way one is formed is actually pretty simple. There is a simple formula you need to learn and then you can create every single blues scale.

If you don’t know already, a scale is laid out with a mixture of whole and half steps. A traditional major scale is formed using the progressing: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

For example, a C major scale would be C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.

By using this progressing and making a few adjustments, you can make any blues scale. To make the above example a C major blues scale take the root, flat 3rd, 4th, flat 5th, 5th, flat 7th, and root note once more.

This would leave you with C-Eb-G-Gb-Bb-C.

Breakdown of the Scales

Following the theory explained above, here is a list of some of the most popular blues scale.

A Blues Scale: A-C-D-Eb-E-G-A

Bb Blues Scale: Bb-Db-Eb-E-F-Ab-Bb

Db Blues Scale: Db-E-Gb-G-Ab-Cb-Db

G Blues Scale: G-Bb-C-Db-D-F-G

This may seem like a lot to remember, but don’t try to memorize these all overnight. As you become more comfortable with the formula or progression, muscle memory in your hands will help you glide through each and every scale.

Blues Scale Piano Uses

Before moving on, be sure you are able to play every blues scale smoothly and confidently. Once you feel like you’ve mastered this step, you can begin using the scale with other chords to create full sounding music.

For the C major blues scale, you only need three main chords: C, F, and G.

There is a basic blues chord progression that is helpful for beginners. For C, it consists of four bars of C, two of F, two of C, one of G, one of F, and finally two bars of C.

Try playing around with this setup in other scales. Just choose the first, fourth, and fit note of the scale you choose and build chords based on that.

Play Blues Music for All to Enjoy

As you can see, there is no reason to be wary of blues scale piano playing. With this guide, you will be playing joyous music for you and all your friends.

Which scale are you going to tackle first? Be sure to share in the comments!

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

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