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Adding More Spice to Your Blues Licks


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Major Notes in Minor Pentatonic Series 2

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In this tutorial we will learn more licks to spice up the minor pentatonic "box" blues shape with notes from the major scales. For these example exercises we will use the A minor pentatonic scale and a 12 bar blues form in A major.

If you are unfamiliar with the overall concept of the pentatonic scale and patterns then you can check out these tutorials which explains everything you could want to know about the major and minor pentatonic scales.

Pentatonic Scales: Boxes & Frameworks

Pentatonic Minor Scale Exercises

Pentatonic Major Scale Exercises

We're going to use the minor pentatonic box shapes as a visual guide or reference. And then we'll find chord tones from the major scale as the chord change in our blues progression.

This is one of the reasons "blues" sounds like it does: the use of minor notes in a primarily major harmonic context. This is the origin of the "blue" note sound of early blues and jazz.

So, in order to make our blues sound better, we should incorporate major notes into the minor scales when we solo, too!

Notice that if you play the major third of the A major chord along with the A minor pentatonic scale you immediately get an interestingly "bluesy" sound. If we apply that same idea to every chord of our I-IV-V blues progression then we can spice up all of our 12 bar blues licks!

Let's give it a try!