Blues basics 3 – applying the pentatonic scale chord groups in blues examples

Still playing the (basic) blues!
In this video lesson i give examples in how to apply the, in earlier videos, mentioned groups in a blues solo.


I have made some examples of how you can play the blues using the pentatonic scale divided into groups around the roots of the chords of a basic blues.

Example one – played two times
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0014 example 1
In these examples i stay inside the groups and in most bars I start the line on the root note.
I start the first bar with the D group – root D one below C and then again the D, second bar i play the root G twice and the note below, the F. third bar – D and switch between the root and the note below C. ending the first four bars with not beginning on the root but answering to the third bar with starting on the note below C thrice and ending on the D.
Fifth bar I do not start on the first beat but on the second beat G F G, the pattern from the very first bar, continuing on the sixth bar repeating the pattern from the fifth bar, but placed on the first beat, as an answer to the fifth bar. The seventh and eights bar I build together in a continuing string of notes D C D C D C D C, getting into the feel of playing longer eight note lines. In the ninth and tenth bar i repeat a pattern in the A group – A A G A but add a tail ending in bar nine on a C and bar ten on a G leading the way towards bar eleven, a rhtymical pattern on the two and four – kind of bass pedal like on the root D and bar twelve A.

Example two:
The lines in this bar is more in continuation of each other, which means that the lines grow longer and are not individually placed but mostly answers or follow up on the previous line.
I also slowly move away from always beginning on the root. Fx. i can start the D group on F or C also, a line on the G group can be started on the F or the A, and in the A group i can start on the G or the C for example.
important to know is that you can start a line on these other notes but due to our limited material the starting note fx the F on a D does not mean that the F really sounds like D. Consider it more a leading tone towards D. The D is still nessesary to make the D bar sound like D.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0015 example 2
I begin with a rhytmical pattern on the one and three F D – F D on the second bar i start on the two of the bar playing all the notes of the G group, G F G A, the third bar play as quarter notes F D and end with eight notes C D. The fourth bar where i place two D´s as eight notes on the three sounds like an upbeat for the fifth bar where i continue with the quarternote pattern G G G – eightnotes G F – which i answer on the sixth bar on the second beat F G A G. In the seventh and eight bar i play a line in the group of D which definitely goes over the barline – On two and four i play D D which leads on to the second bar of D – F D and moved rhythmically F D. On the ninth bar i play a standard blues lick A C A C, kind of a shout which gets its answer on the tenth bar G A G A and ending with another answer A G, leading towards lower lines on the elleventh bar D D D C, going even lower ending on the twelvth bar with the shouth from bar ten A C A C as eight notes.

example three:
I now fully play eight note lines, in the bar but also extending the lines over the barlines, which is one of the goals with these exercises. Further i also change from only stating on the regular beats to also start a line on the off beats which gives the lines a more jazzy feeling.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0016 example 3
Bar one, i start on the lower note of the D group playing around the Root, C D F D leading towards bar two answering with the G group G F G F G, ending the sentence on bar three and four with a long eight note line over the barline playing around the D – C D F D C D—over the barline to bar four C D. Start a new sentence over the next four bars|G|G|D|D|in bar five, playing the G as off beats in bar five, continuing over the barline to bar six with playing around the G A G F G A G F leading down to the D and still continuing the line in eight notes D C D C D C D C ending in bar eight with an answer to it all leading toward the last D – D F C D. In bar nine i jump into a blues line in quarter notes, as an opposite of the eight notes just played before, A group – C A G continuing on bar ten A C G A ending bar ten leading towards bar 11 with a G going to the F D on bar eleven, Repeating the F D changing it rhythmically, ending on bar twelve with C A C A ready to start fresh on a next round :)

I really enjoy making these videos and it inspires me to practise my self, i hope it inspires you to do the same!
Enjoy and have fun playing :)

If you want to stay up-to-date with my videos:

subscribe to my newsletter (top left of my website)
and/or
subscribe to my youtube-channel.

You can also find me on twitter, instagram and facebook, google+ as sorenballegaard