D Blues Scale

D Major Blues Scale CAGED Positions

This step shows the 6 blues scale notes constructed using the major scale of the same key.

12th Position

The blues scale is made from the 1st, flattened 3rd, 4th, flattened 5th, 5th and flattened 7th notes from the major scale above. The 2nd and 6th notes of the major scale are not used.

To flatten a note, just replace it with the piano key lower in pitch ie. lower down the piano.

The flattened 5th is the blue note that gives the blues scale its distinctive sound in this key. So for this major scale, the 5th note of the major scale is flattened from Ab to G to make the blue note.

Below are those notes numbered 1 to 6 on the piano keyboard.

The 7th note is the octave of the tonic note, where the pattern begins to repeat itself.

D blues scale from the D major scale

4th Position (lowest fret is 4)

Wherever possible, complex note names from the major scale are simplified to arrive at the final blues scale notes.

For example, in the Gb blues scale, the 4th note of the major scale Cb is simplified to be note B.

This is done because blues (and pentatonic scales) do not follow the 'usual' music theory rules that hold for diatonic scales, such as major and all minor varieties, which state that each note from A.G can only be used once in the scale.

For the blues scale, the half-step / semitone closeness of notes around the 4th and 5th notes usually mean it is inevitable that a note name will be used twice in the scale, so it makes sense to use the chromatic scale names for all notes.

Audio downloads
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