The So-Called Blues Guitar Scales

There are a few different variations of the blues guitar scales, but basically what everyone is talking about when they mention blues guitar scales is the pentatonic scale… usually the minor pentatonic.

So why are they called blues guitar scales, instead of minor pentatonic? Well, these particular scales are definitely used very heavily in the blues, and as such they’ve gotten a reputation as being called the blues guitar scales. However, the fact remains that nearly every type of music works off the pentatonic scales, even if you’re not calling them blues guitar scales.

The Blues Guitar Scales

Watch the Blues Guitar Scales on Youtube

The scale in this video is the pentatonic minor scale, and the scale pattern for it is below. The numbers represent your fingers; index being 1, pinky being 4. The red note is the root, and the others are octaves of that same note.

|–1–|—–|—–|–4–| – 1st string
|–1–|—–|—–|–4–| – 6th srting


5th fret (Am Pentatonic position)

In order to use this blues scale in other keys, all you have to do is shift the pattern to a different fret, and you’ll have blues guitar scales for every key!

5 Responses to The So-Called Blues Guitar Scales
  1. john halerewicz
    October 18, 2009 | 2:00 pm

    so far so good

  2. terry
    October 24, 2009 | 1:59 am


  3. McAdams
    October 26, 2009 | 11:58 am

    one down lets git it on

  4. dean
    October 27, 2009 | 2:41 pm

    dont want to sound stupid but i cant see if your using all four of your fingrs when playing this scale.

  5. Jonathan
    October 27, 2009 | 2:52 pm

    Hi Dean – hmm that’s a good point, I’ll try to zoom in more on future videos.

    For this scale though, I’m actually only using 3 fingers: index (1), ring (3), and pinky (4). If you refer to the chart below the video, you’ll see the fingering pattern I used. So in this particular scale the middle finger just kind of hangs out and does nothing. Hope that helps.


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