Hello! This is lesson #3 in a series on blues harmonica improvisation. In today's lesson we'll continue our study of blues improvisation by learning how to use the blues scale in solos. (If you missed the previous lessons in the series, do check out Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 as well).
The blues scale is an amazing tool for soloing over the blues. It's very expressive and sounds great on the harmonica. Here's the harp tabs:
-2 -3/ 4 -4/ -4 -5 6
If you are familiar with the minor pentatonic scale, you may have noticed that the blues scale is very similar. There's actually just one note added in the blues scale (the flat fifth) which for us is the -4/ note.
Practising The Blues Scale
The first thing you can do is practise moving up and down the scale. Make it a crawl at first, taking the time to get each note clean, clear and in tune. Then move up to a walking pace, and if you get confident perhaps a jog! This will help your playing technique, allowing you to play blues licks cleanly and smoothly along the full scale.
It's really helpful to practise to a metronome or backing track. This will help you to play in time and it will also help you track your speed so you can gradually speed up.
Next, you can start to build whole solos by mixing up the notes of the scale into different orders. This is the fun bit, where you can start to use your imagination and get creative. There are no limits!
Making Your Solos AWESOME
I hope you've enjoyed this lesson. There are loads of great approaches to improvising. If you'd like to learn more, why not take my premium course Blues Harmonica Improvisation?
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