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#2655736 - 06/23/17 02:44 AM The truth about the blues scales.  
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Both in the Internet and in textbooks one can find different versions of blues scales, which easily confuses newcomers .Which of them are correct?
Indeed, here are involved several different scales, related to each other:

Minor pentatonic - Bb, G, F, Eb, C.

Major pentatonic - A, G, E, D, C.

Full blues scale
- C, B, Bb, G, Gb, F, E, Eb, C; where both thirds and both seveths are called blues notes, and resemble the Arabic maqam, where quarter tone pitches are located in the same places. Flatted fifth also refers to the blues notes.

Major blues scale - C, D, Eb, E, G, A ; its minor transformation - C, D, Eb, G, A .

The blues scales are the result of mixing African pentatonic and European major-minor on American soil, which approved the status of blues as the first purely American genre. From the African pentatonic, into the blues scale came tradition of building from top to bottom ; and what we see in books is just sloppy , because the main direction of classical blues tunes is also descending.


Last edited by Nahum; 06/23/17 02:49 AM.
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#2655738 - 06/23/17 02:52 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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I see 5 scales, but what I know as the blues scale is C, Eb, F, Gb, G, Bb. (Root, Flat 3rd, 4th, Flat 5th, 5th, Flat 7th) If not, what is called this scale?




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#2655745 - 06/23/17 04:04 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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johan, listen to the music is more correctly instead of looking in the book:


For example : 07:31 - Charly McCoy - Motherless Blues

From the first words the singer swings with by glissando between the fifth and flatted fifth, then descends through both thirds to the prima. In the 9th bar , he slips through both sevenths, also by gliss.
It was more correct to write this way:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Nahum; 06/23/17 10:20 AM.
#2655754 - 06/23/17 04:36 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
[Linked Image]
You got this from a book right? :-)


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#2655757 - 06/23/17 04:58 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d

You got this from a book right? :-)


No, I wrote this - not from some book, but an extract from the music.
Beware of blues theorists ! laugh

Last edited by Nahum; 06/23/17 10:16 AM.
#2656070 - 06/24/17 02:29 PM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Hi

I'm not sure what your scale is Johan, probably a simplified version. The most significant point about the full scale as described by Nahum is that it has the major and minor 3rd, which when you slide from the Eb to the E gives you the bluesy effect. As Nahum indicates in his reply the reality is that the blue notes are in the cracks on the Piano, and so the nearest we Pianists can get to a quarter note (half way between Eb and E) is to play them very close together.

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#2656207 - 06/25/17 03:16 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Simon_b]  
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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi

I'm not sure what your scale is Johan, probably a simplified version.

In his tutorial " The Blues Scales" ( btw, I gave in Amazon a high mark ) Dan Greenblatt writes the following:

[Linked Image]

But even he doesn't mention the presence of major seventh.The presence of quarter-tone pitches causes difficulties in musical notation. The presence of quarter-tone pitches causes difficulties in musical notation.The sign that I used in the example above is used in Arabic music precisely for this purpose: to designate a pitch between for ex. Eb and E. This is a real blue note, but the problem is that there is more than one such pitch inside the half-tone - two or even three , depending on the direction of the melody. There are incredible designations here: an inverted flat tight with ordinary flat, etc.
Personally, I think that instead learn the scale it is necessary to begin to learn the blues melodic line in the form of short motives or submotives .

Last edited by Nahum; 06/25/17 03:21 AM.
#2656216 - 06/25/17 04:39 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Lol - If the OP was confused about the Blues Scale, this discussion has probably made it even more confusing ... thumb

Nahum - it sounds like you're saying that it would be better to think of the Blues Scale as the entire major scale, plus the flat3, flat5 and flat7 and any additional tones we get by pressing two keys at the same time?

FWIW - the simplified 6-note blues scale that Johan mentioned is what I've encountered in most books - 1, flat3, 4, flat5, 5 and flat7. This is the one I've memorized and practice in 12 keys.


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#2656234 - 06/25/17 07:54 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Groove On]  
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Originally Posted by Groove On

Nahum - it sounds like you're saying that it would be better to think of the Blues Scale as the entire major scale, plus the flat3, flat5 and flat7 and any additional tones we get by pressing two keys at the same time?

.
Yes, this is one of the possibilities; and IMO , not the best. You can't treat the blues as a given scale, but a set of intonational cells (I do not know the suitable English term, because the theory of intonation, which was born in Russia, isn't recognized in the West). This means in practice: you start with the lower trichord C - [Eb, E] - F, and transpose it over all 12 notes. The next step is to improvise only on this trichord; for beginner this is quite enough!The student doesn't even notice that the 11 transpositions of basic trichord create a set of the first and second halfs of all blues scales - exactly the same, but on perfect fifth up in every scale . That is , in C blues to the lower trichord from C added a duplicate from Sol - G-[ Bb,B]-C, in A blues the second trichord will be from E , etc.
Thus, you cloges in blues scale 2, and even 3 border pillars, which create two main melodic sectors: between the first and fifth steps; and between the fifth and eighth as well as between the first and the fifth step in the lower octave (as often occurs). When both sectors are joining, we can safely introduce a flat fifth - it serves the approach on the way up to the fifth, or on the way down to the fourth or third.

Last edited by Nahum; 06/25/17 07:56 AM.
#2656280 - 06/25/17 11:40 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Perhaps this is a gross oversimplification but I though the Blues Scale was a simple pattern. Tonic - 3 half steps - 2 half steps - 1 half step - 1 half step - 3 half steps - 2 half steps.


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#2656313 - 06/25/17 01:28 PM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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#2656497 - 06/26/17 06:40 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Finfan]  
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Originally Posted by Finfan
Perhaps this is a gross oversimplification but I though the Blues Scale was a simple pattern. Tonic - 3 half steps - 2 half steps - 1 half step - 1 half step - 3 half steps - 2 half steps.

This "blues scale" isn't the blues itself, but just a set of pitches,so there is no use in it. This distinguishes the blues from the classical major and minor scales, which are on the one hand theoretical scheme, on the other can carry a thematic meaning: the ascending scale in C major in the " Juliet the Young Girl" of Prokofiev; or also ascending C melodic minor, which is repeated three times in Beethoven's 3- td piano concert. In classical blues, such not exist, although all the pitches are there ;which are parts of melodic cells. Blues pitches collection isn't.!

#2656502 - 06/26/17 07:11 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Finfan
Perhaps this is a gross oversimplification but I though the Blues Scale was a simple pattern. Tonic - 3 half steps - 2 half steps - 1 half step - 1 half step - 3 half steps - 2 half steps.

This "blues scale" isn't the blues itself, but just a set of pitches,so there is no use in it.

You do agree that this is the scale that 99% of the time is tought as the blues scale?


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#2656598 - 06/26/17 01:58 PM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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I agree that when the blues music collide with the blues scale scheme , music wins in 100% of cases .

https://yadi.sk/d/oVDKKSjX3KTLZs

Last edited by Nahum; 06/26/17 01:59 PM.
#2656624 - 06/26/17 03:19 PM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
I agree that when the blues music collide with the blues scale scheme , music wins in 100% of cases .
https://yadi.sk/d/oVDKKSjX3KTLZs

Sorry Nahum, but I didn't have the same musical education as you, so your answer leaves, again, a puzzle for me.


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#2656633 - 06/26/17 03:55 PM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d

Sorry Nahum, but I didn't have the same musical education as you, so your answer leaves, again, a puzzle for me.
johan, maybe you should ask yourself: why do you want to learn the blues scale, and what are you going to do with it?

#2656776 - Yesterday at 01:32 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by johan d

Sorry Nahum, but I didn't have the same musical education as you, so your answer leaves, again, a puzzle for me.
johan, maybe you should ask yourself: why do you want to learn the blues scale, and what are you going to do with it?
I Like the sound of blues and I am learning this scale (together with pentatonic) to start improvising a little, when playing a bass line in the LH.


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#2656804 - Yesterday at 05:34 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by johan d

I Like the sound of blues and I am learning this scale (together with pentatonic) to start improvising a little, when playing a bass line in the LH.
Ie. you want to learn how to improvise on the blues scale pitches, not to play the entire scale. In jazz, the situation is reversed: first you get the chord, to which must find an appropriate scale or even several scales . You talk about over-simplification, I real propose it to you : instead of seven, only four pitches from tonic (the lower trichord): tonic - one and a half tone - a half tone - a half tone. Less is easier, isn't it?
Why trichord (Three + Chord), although there are four pitches? - Because the second and third pitch are alternatives one to another. For a start it will be enough; remains to transpose at other notes of chromatic scale. What's so complicated? Moreover, the blues pianists play mostly only in three keys: C, F and G

Last edited by Nahum; Yesterday at 05:36 AM.
#2656807 - Yesterday at 05:42 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
I real propose it to you : instead of seven, only four pitches from tonic (the lower trichord): tonic - one and a half tone - a half tone - a half tone. Less is easier, isn't it?
Moreover, the blues pianists play mostly only in three keys: C, F and G

So only use R-b3-3-4 as improvisation notes, and do that in the "beginner" keys C, F and G?


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#2656809 - Yesterday at 06:07 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d
Originally Posted by Nahum
I real propose it to you : instead of seven, only four pitches from tonic (the lower trichord): tonic - one and a half tone - a half tone - a half tone. Less is easier, isn't it?
Moreover, the blues pianists play mostly only in three keys: C, F and G

So only use R-b3-3-4 as improvisation notes, and do that in the "beginner" keys C, F and G?
Yes,+ a transposition of 3 and a half tones upwards.

#2656814 - Yesterday at 07:12 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
+ a transposition of 3 and a half tones upwards.

So that means + 5-b7-7-Octave?

Together with the other 4 pitches that makes
R-b3-3-4- 5-b7-7-Octave (that does not make it easy anymore)
In this case, I miss the b5 - correct?




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#2656839 - Yesterday at 09:49 AM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d
[
Originally Posted by johan d
[quote=Nahum]+ a transposition of 3 and a half tones upwards.

So that means + 5-b7-7-Octave?

Together with the other 4 pitches that makes
R-b3-3-4- 5-b7-7-Octave (that does not make it easy anymore)
No, if you don't have the patience to improvise for some time only on the first trichord. Only when you feel that you have mastered it to some extent, then you pass to the second trichord on a fifth up, and also improvise only on it. L.h. plays the same root.
Only when you are free to orientate and play inside of each trichord separately, you can proceed to their unification into one system, without losing a look on each isolated trichord.
Feel yourself with this freely? It was time to return the flatted fifth, but not as part of whole blues scale, but a part of each trichord: in the lower it is approach from above to the fourth pitch, in the upper trichord - leads from below to its first pitch.
Thus, instead of memorising the scale of eight pitches, you memorize two trichords of exactly the same structure , the hierarchy of pitches inside each of them, and also the specific function of a flat fifth.
This is called the constructed learning process , which simply saves time. .

#2656925 - Yesterday at 03:10 PM Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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johan: Nahum is an experienced teacher and a fine musician. But for an other point of view, my teacher is also a very experienced jazz musician with years of teaching experience, and she taught me the traditional blues scale: C Eb F F# G Bb C. She (and man other musicians I've had contact with) considers is a valuable scale to practice. Somethings to keep in mind:
1. You would never improvise by playing a scale. The point of playing a scale is to get certain notes in your ears so that you can create melodies out of them.
2. Very quickly, you should add all other notes to your improvisation. The blues scale gives you good notes to emphasize, but any real melody with use all the other notes as passing notes or in other roles.
3. As for keys, 90% of the blues that jazz musicians play at the amateur level, at least, are in F or Bb, so concentrate on those scales. It is good, however, to play the blues scale in all 12 keys, as it is good to learn everything in all 12 keys.

Just thought you might like another point of view.

#2657089 - 19 hours ago Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: jjo]  
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Originally Posted by Nahum
two trichords of exactly the same structure, the hierarchy of pitches inside each of them


This opens something for me. Since a few years I do a lot of ear training (app in signature), and always had more difficulties in finding the differences bewteen:

b2 vs b6, but they have the same funtion in the both trichords, right.
b3 vs b7, but they have the same funtion in the both trichords, right.
#4 vs 7th, but they have the same funtion in the both trichords, right.
Given a scale, the 1st trichord has the Root as root, 2nd trichord has the Perfect Fifth as root, right?

If this is correct, I may begin to see the structure in all those notes, and it might be my reason my ears hear simularities in those "vs" combinations above. Another point I have to solve, is when both trichords have the same structure, why are there 7 tones in 1st part - upto start 2nd trichord -, and only 5 tones in 2nd half?

Originally Posted by jjo
1. You would never improvise by playing a scale. The point of playing a scale is to get certain notes in your ears so that you can create melodies out of them.
3. As for keys, 90% of the blues that jazz musicians play at the amateur level, at least, are in F or Bb, so concentrate on those scales.
Just thought you might like another point of view.

Thanks for your advice!


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#2657094 - 18 hours ago Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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To those beginners who want to get to know the blues themselves, rather than its abstract scale, I recommend the collection of Toby Wein "1001 blues licks " ( don't know whether there is an applied CD). https://www.alle-noten.de/Person/Toby-Wein/ So everyone can extract from phrases all pitches and arrange them in scale form . That's only then you can understand what is a blues scale and its variations.
P.S. Sometimes it is required to follow the old Russian proverb:
  If on elephant's cage it is written: "buffalo" - don't believe your eyes!

Last edited by Nahum; 17 hours ago.
#2657139 - 12 hours ago Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d

b2 vs b6, but they have the same funtion in the both trichords, right.
Incorrect in the given trichords there cannot be b2 and b6.

Quote
b3 vs b7, but they have the same funtion in the both trichords, right.
That is correct , also ♮ 3 and ♮7 .

Quote
#4 vs 7th, but they have the same funtion in the both trichords, right.
Incorrect.This is the only special step - axis between both symmetrical trichords.

Quote
Given a scale, the 1st trichord has the Root as root, 2nd trichord has the Perfect Fifth as root, right?
Correct
Quote
If this is correct, I may begin to see the structure in all those notes, and it might be my reason my ears hear simularities in those "vs" combinations above. Another point I have to solve, is when both trichords have the same structure, why are there 7 tones in 1st part - up to start 2nd trichord -, and only 5 tones in 2nd half?
You aren't mistaken? [C ,Eb -E♮,F,(F#) ]+ [(Gb),G♮,Bb - B♮,C ]
The next stage is the division of the entire scale into 2 segments: between steps I-V , and between V - VIII (or a octave down); where I and V are the main points of melodic gravity.

And at the very end: completely remove the isolation between both trichords, and freely move from one to another without playing the entire scale up and down.

#2657151 - 12 hours ago Re: The truth about the blues scales. [Re: Nahum]  
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Maybe should have been clearer, If I mention b2, that is seen within the entire major scale.
Originally Posted by Nahum
You aren't mistaken? [C ,Eb -E♮,F,(F#) ]+ [(Gb),G♮,Bb - B♮,C ]

Yes I must be :-)

Last edited by johan d; 11 hours ago.

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