The blues scale is one of the first guitar scales we explore on the guitar when learning how to solo. The scale is used in many different styles of music, such as rock, blues, and jazz. There are 2 kinds of blues scales: the minor blues scale and the major blues scale.
The blues scale can be heard in legendary solos from players such as Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, George Benson, and many more.
Because of this, this scale is essential learning for anyone studying jazz guitar and jazz guitar improvisation.
Both the minor and major blues scale are hexatonic, which means they contain 6 notes.
THE MAJOR BLUES SCALE
Just as its minor sibling, the major blues scale is an important melodic device that you can use to solo in many different musical situations and genres.
1. Major Blues Scale Construction
Let’s look at how to build this scale and how it is related to the major scale and the major pentatonic scale.
As you most likely already know, the major scale has 7 notes.
The major pentatonic scale is made up of five of those notes (1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the major scale).
To produce a major blues scale, you simply take the major pentatonic scale and add in a blue note, the b3 of the key. This added note gives the major blues scale its bluesy vibe and separates it melodically from the major pentatonic scale.
Major blues scale = major pentatonic scale + blue note b3
2. How to Use the Major Blues Scale?
There are two ways you can use the major blues scale in your solos:
To outline maj7 chords (+ maj9 and maj6).
To outline 7th chords (+ 9th and 13th chords).
The major blues scale works over both major 7 and dominant 7 based chords. This is because there is a major triad in the scale, but no 7th.
The 6th note of the scale can act to produce:
Maj6 sounds over a major-type chord.
13 sounds over a dominant-type chord.
3. Major Blues Scale vs Minor Blues Scale
The main difference between the use of major and minor blues scales is that as the chords change in a blues or other standard form, you have to change scales along with them.
In a I-IV-V blues in the key of G (see in the last example of this lesson), you can play:
a G minor blues scale throughout the entire form, or
a G, C and D major blues scale for each of the three chords in the tune (G7-C7-D7).
This is the hardest part about learning to use the major blues scale.
The fingerings of the major blues scale resemble fingerings that you may already know for the minor blues scale but starting on different notes. This is the main issue players usually find when working on this scale, that it looks like the minor blues scale but isn’t played from the same root notes.
C major blues scale = A minor blues scale
The notes of the C major blues scale (C D Eb E G A) are the same as the notes from the A minor blues scale (A C D Eb E G), but they start on a different note and are used in another way.
So, make sure that you differentiate the major from the minor blues scales in your practicing so that they are distinct and easy to move between when you apply them to your jazz guitar solos.
Source : https://www.jazzguitar.be/