Tip #47 – Working the Major Blues Scale and Replacements

In a previous post, I talked about the idea of using the minor blues scale over a harmonic progression. Now, what if I told you that there was a major blues scale version? What kind of melodic treatment would be used over the harmonic progression f you decided to take that route with a major blues scale?

A major blues scale is like the minor blues, but starts on the flattened-3rd scale degree of the minor blues. So, the new scale degrees become:

| 1 – 2 – b3 – 3 – 5 – 6 – 1 |

And they work great of major triadic or dominant chords!

However, it should be noted that unlike the minor blues scale, the root is based of the chord, NOT the key. So, using a blues chord progression in A Major, the root of the scale would change with each sounding chord.

By now you must be thinking: “But wait! If the major blues scale is determined by the chord and not the key… and the major blues scale is a ‘mode’ – essentially, of the minor blues that is determined by the key, can’t different versions of the minor blues scale work? As so, being dependent on the chord?”

While it is not in common practice, it sure works! To use these replacement blues scales, take the original major blues scale and start on the 6th scale degree to get the minor blues version:

As mentioned above, this is not typical practice of the blues, but it does offer interesting variety for sure! Experiment around with it!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #46 – Adding the Minor Blues Scale

Say you have a cool harmonic progression and what a “bluesy-sounding” melody. Where do you start? Do you go right to bending certain pitches to create “blue notes;” do you use stock licks from your favorite artists that emulated a blues style; do you throw in flattened scale degrees…?

Today we are going to talk about achieving the “blues” sound over a harmonic progression by using the minor blues scale in the melody.

First of all, the minor blues scale is made up of the following scale degrees:

| 1 – b3 – 4 – #4 – 5 – b7 – 1 |

Next, the root is based on the key of the chord progression, NOT the chord itself. In the example below, while the key signature is not defined, one can assume that based on the harmonic progression that the composition is in the key of A Major. Knowing that, a person should use the A minor blues scale over each of the chords.

This may look weird on paper, having a flatted-3rd over a major/dominant chord figure – but take a listen to it! With the lowered scale degree, it certainly sounds out of place, but in fact bluesy! Of course, these are still tension tones (including the #4 scale degree) and should be treated with good resolution… or not, you are the composer!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #45 – Locrian Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the locrian bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-b2–b3-4-b5-b6-b7-7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the vii7(b5) and V7 chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #44 – Phrygian Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the phrygian bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7-7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the iii7 and Imaj7 chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #43 – Half-Diminished Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the half-diminished bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-b2–b3-4-b5-5-b6-b7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the vii7(b5) and V7 chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #42 – Harmonic Minor Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the harmonic minor bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7-7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the vi7 chord in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #41 – Melodic Minor Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the melodic minor bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-2-b3-4-5-#5-6-7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the ii7 and vii7(b5) chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #40 – Major Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the major bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-2-3-4-5-#5-6-7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the I6 and Imaj7 chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #39 – Dorian Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the dorian bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7-7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the ii7 and IVmaj7(#11) chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #38 – Minor Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the minor bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-2-b3-3-4-5-6-b7-8 |

Some points where they work great is over the ii7 and V7 chords in the key.  However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.