Working The 5 Shapes Of A G Minor Blues Scale

Here, you’ll learn to play the 5 scale patterns associated with the minor Blues Scale in the key of G. Hopefully, you’ve become fluent with the G Minor Pentatonic Scale and will be able to easil learn the G Minor Blues Scale by thinking of it as a G Minor Pentatonic Scale with one new note; the flat 5th, also considered a ‘blue’ note.

Next use your music writing note book and the chart below to get the concept, formula and spelling committed to memory.

scale degrees
G Major Scale
scale degrees
G Minor Scale
G Minor Pentatonic Scale G Bb C D
G Minor Blues Scale G Bb C Db D

Scale Exercise & Visual Training

Once again, ‘jump right in’ by improvising with and visualizing all the members of the G Minor Blues Scale on the guitar. As you do remember to construct your new skill set slowly. Start out with going immediately to the Root Note of every new scale pattern and composing a short but melodious phrase which contains 3 or 4 notes. Play your creation in each new scale shape. Repeat this process until you have several long, interesting melodic ideas you can easily play in any position.

The 5 Positions Of G Minor Blues…

Of course we’ll start in the Open Position. In the case of the the G Minor Blues Scale there are many interesting and exciting possibilities presented by the open strings (“G” & “D”). Also, this pattern has a Root Note on the 6th string and is therefore right behind the main, most favored pattern of the G Minor Blues Scale. Think of this as the lower extention of the main pattern.


The Root 6 G Minor Blues Scale on the 3rd fret is the most known, used, and played version of the scale. Onces again, this course is all about going the extra mile, training yourself to quickly and effortlessly find any scale in any key in 5 positions. Treat each of the sound files as an ear training puzzle to be played by you in perfect unison with the recording.


The G in the 5th position is often thought of as the upper extention of the preceding pattern, the most common fingering for the Minor Blues Scale. The Root Note on the 6th string is not actually part of the scale pattern but shown for purposes of reference and is there to help you learn how to connect the scales.


We’ve often refered to this type fingering pattern as the least known and used of all the Box Patterns. We do highly reccomend mastering this scale shape because of its Root Note on the 5th string and its proximity to one of the ‘first line of defense’ fingering patterns. Think of this pattern as the lower extention of the Root 5 G Minor Blues Scale on the 10th fret.


Our study of the G Minor Blues Scale comes full circle with this Root 6 pattern in the 12th position, a scale exactly one octave higher in pitch than the first fingering pattern in the G Minor Blues Scale series of patterns.


Play Along Exercises

To use and apply of the highly unusual and adaptive Minor Blues Scales, the same rules that govern the use of Minor Pentatonic Scales apply:

If a song, vamp or chord progression is based on a Minor Chord, then the Minor Blues Scale of that key can be interesting and acceptable choice for creating riffs, licks and also for soloing.

If a song, vamp or chord progression is based on a Major Chord, then the Minor Blues Scale of that key can be an interesting and acceptable choice for creating riffs, licks and also for soloing.

If a song, vamp or chord progression is based on a Dominant Chord, then the Minor Blues Scale of that key can be interesting and acceptable choice for creating riffs, licks and also for soloing.


Return To Lesson


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