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Fiddle Lessons: The Blues Scale

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We're gonna look at three iterations,
three versions of the blues scale getting
progressively more and
more accurately depicting the how to play
the blues and,
and just the sound of the blues using a
So we're gonna start with the very most
elementary version of the blue scale,
and we're gonna start in G.
We're gonna play from the lowest string
It's like a pentatonic scale.
We're getting close to covering the
pentatonic scale.
This is a very, most simple version of the
sound of the blues that you can play.
So if we start on the G, we're gonna be in
G blues, right, G blues scale.
If we go up, we, we're gonna play a G
[SOUND] and
then we're gonna play a B-flat [SOUND]
which is like a minor.
And then [SOUND] with four [SOUND] and
then back down.
[SOUND] Go ahead and play that.
I'll play it first.
Go ahead and play it up, going up.
And then back down.
So that is, we have five notes on that
And then, of course, the octave,
which makes six, but it's the same note,
and that's the bottom.
So it's really a five-note scale.
Right, so that's the,
the very simplest version of the blues
We can do that up an octave if we start
from the G on the D string.
Go ahead and play that.
And then coming back down.
Playing that on your end.
All right.
So, that is a very simple version of the
blues scale.
Just getting comfortable with that.
It's very symmetrical if we play it from
an open string.
We're just using our second and
third fingers.
Pretty easy.
The second version of that we're gonna add
a note.
We're gonna add an important note which is
a flat five type note.
And of course, in the, in the scale of G
if we count up-
We get to that fifth note,
and that is the D note.
The D note is already in our simple blues
We're gonna add a note right below that.
We're gonna use our fourth finger here for
this D-flat note.
[SOUND] So we're gonna put that in there.
So we're gonna go up from the G scale
Go ahead and play that.
And then we come back down.
If we do it an octave up,
starting from the third finger, we get-
You play.
And then coming back down.
recommend pausing at this point and just
getting comfortable with-
Just doing that a few times,
maybe a few hundred times,
maybe as many as 231 times.
You could, you don't have to do that right
All right, so, we're back let's look at
the final version of the Blues Scale.
I just wanted to say that you could play
that second version of the blues scale
You can play it all day.
Up and down up and down.
And it still wouldn't sound like Aretha
Franklin, for instance.
Now why is that?
And this is where this, the third version,
the, the really our, our final
version of blues scale really makes use of
the capabilities of the fiddle, comes in.
And it's good to get through these first
two versions, because it gives you an idea
of the general tonality and gets you kinda
comfortable in that sort of
dark, you know, kind of area with the
But if we really want to play the blues
and understand what the blues is about,
we have to go into the real of
manipulating notes in the scale.
So, remember when we talked about the
mixolydian scale,
we're going to go back to the G mixolydian
which is a major scale with a flat seven.
So if we count up the major scale one two
three hour five six seven,
it's that note which is lowered if we did
regular major scale, and
you can go back to your other lesson where
we talked about the mixed and review this.
Or if you didn't get there, if you just
got dropped in on the intermediate,
go back to beginning section and look at
the mixolydian scale.
We're going to play that scale.
And then we're gonna say.
Every other note, every odd numbered note
we gotta play the three.
The five.
And the seven.
Three, five, seven, those odd numbers.
These are notes that are gonna get
manipulate it.
These are the notes that get slid around.
This is where we get the West African,
North African influence of sliding notes
so that they mean a blue,
they get a blues feeling a real blues
feeling so,
we have the third
We're gonna play, just go ahead and,
just i'm just gonna play a little bit, and
then you play it back to me.
So we're playing we're sliding on that B
We're going somewhat from B flat to B.
We could play it kind of low, we could
play it very sad.
So we're playing a very, kind of a B flat.
So I'm reaching pretty far back.
Match that note.
It's not on the piano.
It's somewhere between A and B flat.
We're using our second finger as you can
Then sliding up to m Kind of low,
it's like a low B.
One more time.
And then there's like a little bit more
sassy version of that.
You can knock me down and step on my face
but slandering my name all over the place
but you can't kill my fighting blues
spirit kind of feeling.
Go ahead and play that, so we're going
from the B flat
All the way up to the B natural.
And coming off the note.
As soon as we hit the B.
So we got that.
One more time on that.
Sounds good, its getting there.
Okay so, then we, our next note that is
gonna get manipulated is the five.
Now remember we had that flat five in
What that really is, we're sliding from
the flat five to.
And then normal five so we're sliding from
the D-flat to the D.
When we're in G.
We're again, we're using our fourth finger
on this.
We'll be using other fingers to do that.
Go ahead and play that.
And this is like the, I woke up this
morning kind of note.
I woke up this morning.
So we're having multiple slides here with
the fourth finger.
Great so, and then the last.
Important manipulated note is the seventh.
I talked about this before.
So if we go up
we have that seventh note.
We're gonna slide that up to the G.
One more time.
You play.
One more time.
One more time, okay, great.
So, what we have is
We have all those notes, get manipulated
in various ways.
They slid around.
Those three notes are the very important
blues notes.
And you hear that, saying, oh, play the
blue note.
Play the blue note!
That's why I wear this shirt,
because the blue shirt enables us to play
the blue note.
Actually that's not true, that's like sort
of like Dumbo's feather, right?
Dumbo the elephant flew around, he
couldn't fly unless he had the feather.
We can't play unless we have the violin, I
don't think it's exactly the same thing.
So, we have the Blues scale.
Let's try it up an octave, let try it up
Let's go.Okay, so, we got the G.
And then, the third, which is the B note.
And, then, the five.
And then, which is the F to the F sharp.
One more time.
You go ahead and play that.
One more time.
Great, so, if we put all the other notes
in, we get a nice full scale.
Now we might not even slide those notes
every time.
It's not that every time you have to slide
the notes, but those are the notes.
Which get manipulated much more than the
other notes in the scale.
So that's our blues scale.
I want you to drill on
Just play around with.
Play around with those notes.
Now we're gonna do a tune next which uses
those notes sliding.
It's kind of a bluegrass kind of blues.