In this lesson we will examine the G blues scale on guitar up and down the entire neck. Many guitarists like the key of G because of the variety of songs in the key, the ability to incorporate open notes and it has many of the chords we are so familiar with.
Sure it is called a blues scale but there is no requirement to only use the scale with blues songs. In fact, many of the most popular rock songs out there feature a blues scale.
Remember, blues had a baby and they named it Rock and Roll!
G Blues Scale Charts
Below is probably the most popular position for the G blues scale. The red circles indicate the root note (G), while the blue circles indicate the blue note (C#). If you skip the blue not, you have a G minor pentatonic scale.
In the position below, we also start from the G on the sixth string, third fret but with our third finger on the root note. This position allows you to incorporate the open D and G notes.
For the scale below, I recommend you start on the G note on the D string (5th fret). Work your way up the scale, then all the way down to the sixth string and back up to where you started.
This version of the G blues scale requires you to shift your hand slightly between the G and B strings. You may choose to play with 10th fret on the G string with your 4th finger instead of the 3rd.
On this final G blues scale pattern, you will see all of your fingers are getting some action. The fingering can be tricky but the notes bend great in this area of the guitar neck.
How to Practice Blues Scales
It is a good method to start scales at the lowest root note. Work your way up the scale and then all way down to the lowest note in the pattern. If this lowest note is not the G, work your way back up to the G.
Practice your fingering first – over and over again. Try breaking the scale in to two string increments. Practice the three parts and then put them together.
Pentatonic Vs. Blues Scale
As mentioned earlier, the blues scale is the same as the minor pentatonic scale but for one note – the flat 5th. In the key of G, this would be a C# note.
Many guitarists use the terms pentatonic and blues scale interchangeably. It is also common to not label a pentatonic major or minor. They are quite different!
Can I Use a Minor Pentatonic over a Major Chord?
Yes! For rock and blues, the minor pentatonic is often the preferred scale even with major chords. Rule of thumb – minor pentatonic for a rock sound, major pentatonic for a country sound.