Blues soloing part 1

Here is the basic blues chord progression in the key of G.

The two scales in this post will work for the whole progression. The first option is to use the G minor pentatonic scale.  The chart below shows the five positions of the scale .

The second is to use the G blues scale, which is the minor pentatonic with an added flatted fifth. The diagrams below illustrate the two scales up to the 15th fret.

Both of these scales sound good over the whole progression. In theory, they shouldn’t really. Both scales have a minor third (the note Bb) which should clash with the major third (the note B) in the G7 chord. They are good options for the beginning improviser because they give you a bluesy sound straight away and are easy scales to get under your fingers and improvising melodies quickly.

However, in the jazz idiom a player would be expected to address the chords more specifically.  The next blues soloing post will introduce us to a scale that will help us to start thinking about our note choices for the different chords in the progression.

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