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Blues Essentials Level 1 Lesson 1




THE RIFF

Let’s get started with the main riff, and the concept of the blues scale. First up, the blues scale. This is essentially the minor pentatonic with an additional flattened 5th note. It therefore creates a 6 note scale that looks like this:

root, b3rd, 4th, b5th, 5th, b7th

When you apply this to the fretboard, and in the key of G, we can build our G blues scale. This can be played all over the neck, but to start with, lets play it from the first position, down on the 3rd fret. Here is the shape:

NOTE: The “blues note” (flat 5) is very much a passing note, and is not a nice place to land or end any of your licks. Consider it an “out” note that adds colour and extra flavour to your soloing or riffs, rather than a key note in the scale.

This is the scale we will be using for the opening riff, so make sure you can visualise it as you go through the part. Also, remember to pay close attention to the subtleties of the sound, especially using those quarter bends within this riff.