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Discovering Blues ScalesThe A B C’s of the Blues

The blues scales can and are used for many styles of music not just the blues. Rock music loves the Blues too.

These scales will give you more ammo for your solo’s.

Blues scales are the pentatonic scales with an extra note. But… that one note can change the whole feeling of a song.

Try using these scales along with the pentatonic scales for added flavor.

Learn Scales EasierTake it for a Free Ride

Guitar Scales Method

They won’t fit in every song but you are the judge for that.

But they should work in every Blues song, remember there are always exceptions and let your ears be the final judge.

There are major and minor scales just like there major and minor scales. The major and minor scale forms have the same notes. In other words an A major scale would be the same as an F♯ minor scale.

They are a minor 3rd or a major 6th apart. If you are in A think 3 notes back or 6 notes ahead using the major scale.

It’s the home note that is different.

Here are the two scales first the major then the minor.

Major Blues

Major Blues Formula

This formula is based on the major scale

The blues major scale is built 1-2-3♭-3-5-6

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-octave – Note Numbers

A-B-C♯-D-E-F♯-G♯-A – Major scale

A-B-C♯-E-F♯-A – Major Pentatonic Scale

A-B-C-C♯-E-F♯-A – Major Blues Scale

The A Major Blues

Major Blues Audio

The A major blues scale played against an A chord

I only used the scale notes and no string bends. This is an A major blues played against an A chord

More on Major Blues

Minor Blues

Minor Blues Formula

This formula is based on the major scale. This is the relative minor of the A major Scale

The blues minor scale is built 1-3♭-4-5♭-5-7♭

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-octave – Note Numbers

F♯-G♯-A♯-B-C♯-D♯-E♯-octave – Major scale

F♯-A-B-C♯-E-F♯ Minor Pentatonic Scale

F♯-A-B-C-C♯-E-F♯ – Minor Blues Scale

The Minor Blues List

F sharp minor blues played against an F sharp chord

I only used the scale notes and no string bends. This is an F sharp minor blues played against an F sharp chord.

More on Minor Blues

I hope you found this page useful.

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The Dorian Flat 2 Mode

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The dorian flat 2 mode and names of these scales are all related to the major scale mode names.

The dorian ♭2 mode comes rom the second note of the Melodic minor scale and can be used over minor 7th chords and dominant 7th flat 9 chords of the same root. You just have to be careful with the second note being a half step from the root.

Confusing Names

The names of these scales can be confusing especially if you don’t know all the major scale modes.

Guitar Scales Software

Learn Scales EasierTake it for a Free Ride

Guitar Scales Method

The main thing you need to remember is a melodic minor scale is a major scale with a flatted 3rd. That is the only difference.

The important thing is do you know where the scale came from and what chords you can use it for not it’s name.

Here is a little taste of the dorian flat 2 mode played against a Dm7 chord.

The Dorian Flat 2 played against a D minor 7th chord

I’m trying to give you the overall sound that mode has. The minor 2nd interval gives it that unique quality that it has so I used this note more than usual. This note should usually be used on upbeats to avoid a minor 2nd clash with the bass note.

Dorian ♭2 Mode List

Dorian ♭2 Mode Formula

The formula is 1-♭2-♭3-4-5-6-7

It’s a dorian mode with a flatted 2nd or a major scale with a flatted 2nd and 3rd.

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The Dorian Flat 2 Mode

The dorian flat 2 mode and names of these scales are all related to the major scale mode names.

The dorian ♭2 mode comes rom the second note of the Melodic minor scale and can be used over minor 7th chords and dominant 7th flat 9 chords of the same root. You just have to be careful with the second note being a half step from the root.

Confusing Names

The names of these scales can be confusing especially if you don’t know all the major scale modes.

The main thing you need to remember is a melodic minor scale is a major scale with a flatted 3rd. That is the only difference.

The important thing is do you know where the scale came from and what chords you can use it for not it’s name.

Here is a little taste of the dorian flat 2 mode played against a Dm7 chord.

The Dorian Flat 2 played against a D minor 7th chord

I’m trying to give you the overall sound that mode has. The minor 2nd interval gives it that unique quality that it has so I used this note more than usual. This note should usually be used on upbeats to avoid a minor 2nd clash with the bass note.

Dorian ♭2 Mode List

Dorian ♭2 Mode Formula

The formula is 1-♭2-♭3-4-5-6-7

It’s a dorian mode with a flatted 2nd or a major scale with a flatted 2nd and 3rd.

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Lead Guitar Scales

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Guitar Chord ProgressionsCommon Progressions

“The Love You Take is Equal to the Love You Make”
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Beatles

There are a lot of guitar chord progressions that are common for certain styles of music. By learning these progressions it will make learning songs much easier and easier to remember.

Learning these basic chord progressions will also increase the number of songs you know almost instantly.

Many songs will have slight variations of a basic progression. Giving it its own character.

During the 1950’s the I-vi-IV-V progression was used on thousands of songs. In the key of C that would be C-Am-F-G.

Some you still hear on oldies radio stations. This progression is like a time machine because of the overuse of this progression. It brings back a music era.

Progression Numbering System

All the chords will be written in Roman numerals. The upper case for major chords I, IV and V. The lower case for minor and diminished chords ii, iii, vi and vii.

All chord numbers are based on the major scale. like below.

The degree sign under the vii column stands for a diminished chord.

The G♭ and F♯ are the same scale. One is a flat key and one is a sharp key. Same pitch just written different.

By using the above list you can change the key of any song you want to any key you want.

Numbering Variations
Guitar Chord Progressions

To switch keys for every chord that’s not in the key of the music would get very confusing. That’s why it is easier to think in one key with some variations.

Many songs do not stay in one key(called diatonic). They often borrow chords from other keys for chord progressions. Any one of your major chords can become minor and the minor chords can become major.

They can also be flat or sharp from the key. A common chord for this is the VII♭. This is made into a major chord and played ½ tone lower. In the key of C this chord would be a B♭

Other variations are chord extensions like a 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th or 13th.

The iii minor sometimes will become a III7. A dominant 7th. The same with the ii and vi chords.

Key Changes
Guitar Chord Progressions

Sometimes the written music will show a key change if it’s going to last for a bit. Other times it may only be a bar or two and they don’t show a key change. This is why you should learn all of the major scales and their basic chords.

If you learn one key you have also learned half of two other keys. If you don’t understand yet check out the guitar chords page.

Now that you know how guitar chord progressions will be written out we can move on into the progressions. The number system lets you play the song in any key you want.

This is useful for singing so you can reach the notes or you may want to play in an open position for an acoustic guitar or in a closed position for a solid body electric.

You can write these numbers next to chord symbols in sheet music and song books. This is a good way to learn different keys and chord positions.

Chord Numbering Example

This is an example of how chords would be numbered for the first 4 chords of the C scale.

The chords are a Cma7, Dm7, Em7 and a Fma7. The notes are the chord notes also called an arpeggio.

With a little practice you can transpose to any key just read the notes and play them 1 whole tone higher or any other change without rewriting by knowing your music intervals.

Circle of 4ths
Guitar Chord Progressions

Have you heard about the circle of 4ths? Understanding this will make remembering songs a lot easier. Check out the link below.

Circle of 4ths

Circle of Fifths

This is similar to the circle of 4ths but you might be able to understand how all the keys work together better from this point of view.

Circle of Fifths

Two Chord Progressions

Most songs have more than two chords but a lot of songs are based on two chords. Check out the page below.

Two Chord Progressions page.

Three Chord Progressions for Guitar

Now we are getting into songs that are based on three chords. These songs are based on the I, IV and V chords of the major scale. Some are just extensions of the two chord progressions.

Three Chord Progressions

Four Chord Progressions

Now things seem to be getting complicated but it’s only one more chord. We can have an even 4 or 2 measures for these progressions and then repeat it.

There are many more options for 4 chord progressions. Check out the page in the link below.

Four Chord Progressions

12 Bar Blues Progression

This progression is the foundation for thousands of songs. It is based on the I, IV and V chords of the major scale.

12 bar blues chord progression

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Guitar Major Chord Images

Guitar major chord images. Major chords are the most used of chords in all types of music. Many Folk, Country and Rock songs are based on only major chords.

There are three major chords in each scale. These come from the 1st note, the 4th note and the 5th note.

The chords from the first note and fourth note of the major scale can be extended to produce major 7th, 9th and 13th chords.

The major chord made from the 5th note will produce a dominant 7th, 9th and 13th chords.

The difference between major 7th, 9th and 13th and dominant 7th, 9th and 13th is the 7th note.

The major 7th is 5 and 1/2 steps(11 frets) from the root note, the dominant 7th is 5 steps(10 frets) from the root.

Major A Chords

The notes for this chord are A, C sharp and E. They can be played in any order or combination. There are many more, explore the guitar fretboard and find some.

Major D Chords

The Notes for this chord are D, F sharp and A.

Major G Chords

The Notes for this chord are G, B and D.

Major C Chords

The Notes for this chord are C, E and G.

Major F Chords

The Notes for this chord are F, A and C.

Major B Flat Chords

The Notes for this chord are B flat, D and F.

Major E Flat Chords

The Notes for this chord are E flat, G and B flat.

Major A Flat Chords

The Notes for this chord are A flat, C and E flat.

Major D Flat Chords

The Notes for this chord are D flat, F and A flat.

Major G Flat Chords

The Notes for this chord are G flat, B flat and D flat.

Major F Sharp Chords

The Notes for this chord are F Sharp, A Sharp and C Sharp.

These chords are the same pitch as G flat. They are written different for music keys.

Major B Chords

The Notes for this chord are B, D Sharp and F Sharp.

Major E Chords

The Notes for this chord are E, G Sharp and B.

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How Learn-Guitar-asap.com was Started

Learn-Guitar-asap.com was started from my lifelong passion for music, especially guitar music. The computer is a new instrument to me so you’ll probably see some goof ups here and there.

I’ve been playing guitar since 1964. Sometimes work gets you away from the things you really enjoy, so sometimes I played more than others, just a fact of life. Well anyway here is what got me playing guitar.

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They do just about all the technical stuff for a website like telling the search engines you just updated a page.

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The C Minor Melodic Scale

The C melodic minor scale is one note away from the C major scale. If you lower the 3rd of the C major scale one fret yopu will have the C Melodic minor.

Learn Scales EasierTake it for a Free Ride

Guitar Scales Method

This scale is used a lot for improvising, especially in Jazz and Jazz/Rock fusion.

You should explore it even if you don’t play these styles because you might find something you like and you can apply it for your style. This is how new music forms develop.

It is also used as a minor scale for songs too.

C Melodic Minor Construction

Melodic Minor Scales

Like the major scale tetrachords you can think of the minor scales the same way. All minor scales; the natural, harmonic and melodic all have the same first tetrachord or 4 notes a Root, major 2nd, minor 3rd and a perfect 4th

The minor scales are related to each other through the major scale relationship. C major is related to C minor(tonic relationship) and A minor(Relative relationship). A minor natural and C major have the same notes, they just start on different notes

C Melodic Minor Notation and Tab

C Melodic Chords

Triad

Cm

Dm

Eaug

F

G

Adim

Bdim

4 Note

CmMa7

Dm7

E+Ma7

FMaj7

G7

Am7♭5

Bm7♭5

C Minor Melodic Chord Diagrams

Four Note Chords

These chords are movable. Just move them up or down the neck for a new chord. Keep track of the root note for the chord.

C Melodic Key signature

This is how the 1st bar in sheet music will look if you are in the key of C Minor, three flats.

This doesn’t mean the music won’t have flats or sharps in it. They’ll be marked next to the note on the staff.

Minor Key

Flats

Key Signature

Rel Major

C

E

E♭

I hope you found this page useful.

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Discover Chord FormulasHow to Make Guitar Chords

Chord formulas will let you make any chord using the major scale as a basis. By learning this simple process you will always be able to figure out what notes are in a particular chord using simple math.

Knowing the notes in a chord is also the way you play lead guitar, without this knowledge your solos are going to be limited to pentatonic scales.

Gaining this knowledge will enable you to play more than just the standard chords. If a song has 4 measures of a C chord in it you will be able to add some chord variations in the rhythm by understanding chord structure.

Chord Formulas

We use the major scale as a tool for making chords. Some chords will come from the minor scales but we can still use the major scale to make them.

This tool will let you make any chord for any key as long as you know the major scale anf guitar fretboard.

All of the major scale notes also have numbers that go with them like below.

All notes are a whole step(2 frets) apart except for 3 to 4, 7 to 8, 10 to 11 and 14 to 15(not shown) which are a half step(1 fret) apart.

Symbols and Numbers

This symbol means sharp ♯ 1 fret or note higher.

This symbol stands for flat ♭ 1 fret or note lower.

Just Reference the numbers for any major scale.

Here is a list of all major scales and the note numbers.

Some notes have two numbers 2/9, 4/11 and 6/13.

Major Scales List

Basic Chords – Three Note Chords

These three note chords are the basis for all the other chords.

Major

1-3-5

C-E-G

Minor

1-3♭-5

C-E♭-G

Augmented

1-3-5♯

C-E-G♯

Diminished

1-3♭-5♭

C-E♭-G♭

Suspended Triads

Suspended chords suspend or replace the 3rd of a chord. They usually don’t last long and resolve to the original chord.

Suspended chords are neither major or minor because there is no 3rd.

Suspended 2nd Chords

sus2

1-2-5

C-D-G

Suspended 4th Chords

sus4

1-4-5

C-F-G

The next few chords are suspended slash chords. These chords contain a suspended note and an extra note with it. They are shown by a slash.

Suspended 4 note Chords

Slash Chords – Chord Formulas

The following chords are called slash chords because of the slash in their symbol not their sound.

The slash can tell you to add a note or it can tell you what bass note is wanted like C/G or C/v. This would mean you play a C chord with a G or the 5th(v) in the bass or lowest note.

Suspended 2/6 Chords

sus2/6

1-2-5-6

C-D-G-A

Suspended 4/6

sus4/6

1-4-5-6

C-F-G-A

This chord may also be called an F add 9 chord. This is another case of plurality in chord names.

Suspended 4/9 Chord

sus4/9

1-4-5-9

C-F-G-D

Three other suspended chord formulas have a dominant 7th in them.

7th Suspended 2 Chord

7sus2

1-2-5-7♭

C-D-G-B♭

This is also a G minor with a C bass note.

7th Suspended 4 Chord

7sus4

1-4-5-7♭

C-F-G-B♭

7th Suspended 4/6 Chord

7sus4/6

1-4-5-6-7♭

C-F-G-A-B♭

When you have this many notes in a chord it is common to leave out non essential notes.

In this chord you need the 7, 4 and 6. These notes give the chord its character or overall sound.

Even the root can be considered non essential because the root is implied or a bass player will usually play the root.

Major 6th Chords

6

1-3-5-6

C-E-G-A

Major 6th chords are also minor 7th chords. A C 6th(C-E-G-A) is equal to an Am7(A-C-E-G) chord.

This chord can be made by combining a major chord(C-E-G) and a minor chord a 6th higher(A-C-E) or add a 6th to a major chord. I’m just giving you different ways of thinking about these chords.

You can interchange these chords most of the time depending on the song. A C6 usually means they want a C bass and a Am7 usually means they want an A bass but nothing is written in stone. Try switching them on different songs and see what you think.

Just think a minor 3rd back from a 6th chord and think a minor 3rd up from a minor 7th chord.

Minor 6th Chords

6

1-3♭-5-6

C-E♭-G-A

This chord can be an F 9th chord(F-A-C-E3♭-G without a root.

Major Add 9 Chords

add9

1-3-5-9

C-E-G-D

You can hear this chord in the Rolling Stones song “Waiting on a Friend”

Waiting on a Friend – mp3
Waiting on a Friend – Tab
(Opens New Window)

Jimi Hendrix uses this chord in Castles Made of Sand. Start this on the 1st fret and move it up 3 frets at a time. Similar to the diminished chord sound raised in minor 3rds.

Castles Made of Sand – mp3
Castles Made of Sand – Tab
(Opens New Window)

Minor Add 9 Chords

Yes this is just one note away from the chord above but it is a totally different sound.

madd9

1-3♭-5-9

C-E♭-G-D

You can hear this chord in Creams song Badge with Eric Clapton. You have to play it on the 5th fret though it’s an Am add9. It’s right after the line “…layed on my table”

Badge – mp3
Badge – Tab
(Opens New Window)

Major 7th Chords

maj7

1-3-5-7

C-E-G-B

This chord is a C major(C-E-G) and an E minor(E-G-B) put together

Any chord that has maj in the name will have a major 7th note in it.

If it has a plain 7 the 7th will be one semitone or fret lower than a major 7th.

With the major 7th chord forms the root has to be before the maj7th otherwise it will sound bad

7th Chords

7

1-3-5-7♭

C-E-G-B♭

This chord just gets a plain 7 after the note name.

This chord is made from a major chord(C-E-G) and a Diminished Chord(E-G-B♭).

This is good to know for improvising, you can use the diminished scale along with the major scale, mixolydian and the pentatonic scales.

Minor 7th Chords

m7

1-3♭-5-7♭

C-E♭-G-B♭

This is also an E♭ 6th chord

Minor 7th Flat 5 Chords

m7♭5

1-3♭-5♭-7♭

C-E♭-G7♭-B♭

This Chord is also an E♭m6 and A♭9th no root.

Major 7/6 Chords

maj7

1-3-5–6-7

C-E-G–A-B

This is a short version of a major 13th chord but there isn’t any 9th(D) so it’s not really a major 13th.

The 6th and 13th notes are the same.

This chord might give you a problem getting your 4th finger to lay down right but if you just keep at it and relax your hand you will get it.

Minor 7th/11th Chords

m7/11

1-3♭-5-7♭-11

C-E♭-G-B♭-F

The reason this chord isn’t a minor 11th chord is because there is no 9 in it. By rights an 11th chord must have a 9th in it although you may see versions of minor 11th chords without it.

This chord could also be an E♭6/9(E♭-G-B♭-C-F) chord also. Think relative major.

The relative minor of a major scale is a 6th above or a minor 3rd behind. C major = A minor relative minor and vice-versa.

The scale created from the 6th note of the major scale is a natural minor scale containing the same notes as the major scale just starting from a different point, also called the Aeolian mode.

If this is confusing to you check out the page on music intervals to learn more.

Music Intervals

Major 9th Chords

maj9

1-3-5-7-9

C-E-G-B-D

Minor 9th Chords

maj9

1-3♭-5-7♭-9

C-E♭-G-B♭-D

Minor 9th chords can replace a major 7th chord and vice-versa. The Cm9(C-E♭-G-B♭-D) can be replaced with an E♭maj7(E♭-G-B♭-D). It contains all the notes of the Cm9 except for the root

To remember how to replace them for a minor 9th think major 7th; a minor third(3 frets) up.

To remember how to replace them for a major 7th think minor 9th; minor third(3 frets) down.

Major 13th Chords

maj13

1-3-5-7-9-13

C-E-G-B-D-A

With this many notes you will see a lot of shorter chord forms keeping the 3, 7 and 13. This is unavoidable as we only have 6 strings two of which have the same notes. Octaves don’t count in chord making theory. An E is an E no matter what octave it’s in. Your ears are what tells you it’s right.

11th Chords
Chord Formulas

maj9

1-3-5-7♭-9-11

C-E-G-B♭-D-F

Minor 11th Chords

maj9

1-3♭-5-7♭-9-11

C-E♭-G-B♭-D-F

Dominant Chords

Any chord built from the 5th note of the major scale is considered to be a dominant chord. That is the name of that note. Notes in the major scale have names and numbers.

There are no major 7th chords built from this note only dominant 7th’s which are 1/2 semitone or one fret down from a major 7th.

All dominant chords have a major 3rd and a flatted 7th in them.

There are no dominant minor chords. The minor 7th chord isn’t a dominant chord because it has a flatted 7th in it.

All of these chords are C roots which puts you in the key of F. C is the 5th note of the F scale.

7th Chords

7

1-3-5-7♭

C-E-G-B♭

This chord was also above after the major 7th. I put it here to introduce you to the dominant chords.

9th Chords
Chord Formulas

7

1-3-5-7♭-9

C-E-G-B♭D

This is the main chord for many funky rhythm sounds in music, using muted and none muted rhythm combinations.

11th Chords
Chord Formulas

13

1-3-5-7♭-9-11

C-E-G-B♭D-F

This chord might take a little practice. The tip of your index finger will play the E on the 4th string while the side of it will play the F on the 1st string.

Keep at it until you get clear notes on all strings. This is a movable chord with the root on the 5th string.

13th Chords

11

1-3-5-7♭-9-13

C-E-G-B♭D-A

This is a movable form and is sometimes combined with the C9 chord in funky rhythms because you only have to move your 4th finger on and off the note.

Altered Chords

Altered chords are chords that have had their 5th, 9th or 11th note altered.

By altered we mean raised or flatted by 1/2 tone or 1 fret for us guitar players.

I have a separate page on altered chords right below

Altered Chords

I hope you found this page useful.

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The F Major ScaleOnly One Flat

Discover the F major scale. This scale is the one we usually learn after C because it only has one flat. It has a B flat in it.

This scale has 5 open strings that will work for leads up the neck.

The 6th string is a major 7th.

The 5th string is a major 3rd

The 4th string is a major 6th

The 3rd string is a major 2nd or 9th.

The 6th string is a major 7th same as the 6th string

This scale is made from two tetra-chords one from the B flat and one from the C scale.

Because these scales are made from each other you will see the same notes and chords in the F, B♭ and C scales.

The F Scale Construction

F Scale Tetra-chords

A tetra-chord is a group of 4 adjacent notes that makes up half a major scale. The major scales are made from two tetra-chords from two different major scales.

The first F scale tetra-chord comes from the second B flat major scale tetra-chord and the second tetra-chord comes from the first C scale tetrachord.

F Major Scale Numbering

Major scales have numbers that go with the notes. This way of referring to numbers makes it possible to refer to all scales and chords no matter what key.

When referring to chords the numbers are usually written in Roman numerals, upper case for major chords and lower case for minor chords.

F Major Notation-Tab

F Major Chords

F Major Chord Diagrams

F Major Key signature

This is how the key signature looks in the key of F. The flat symbol circles the B line on the staff.

Music can have other flats or sharps in it. They will be marked on the staff next to the notes but the B’s won’t be you have to remember that.

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D Sharp Minor Scales

D sharp minor scales are related to the F sharp major scale. This is as hard a key as G flat to read music in if you aren’t a good reader.

This scale has six sharps in it. Playing in different keys isn’t that hard if you remember the scale pattererns on the guitar neck. It’s the key of F up one fret.

D Sharp Natural Minor Scale

You see the double sharps? That’s so I don’t use the same note twice in a scale. You will see these from time to time in sheet music but not very often. A double sharp or flat raises a note a whole tone or two frets.

I tried to use a key signature but it made everything more confusing.

There isn’t a D sharp major scale. I used this to show how to build the minor Melodic and Harmonic scales

Chords in D Sharp Natural Minor Scale

D Sharp Melodic Minor Scale

Flatting the 3rd of the D Sharp(E flat) major scale will give you an D sharp melodic minor scale.

Chords in the D Sharp Melodic Minor Scale

D Sharp Harmonic Minor Scale

Lower the 3rd and 6th note of any major scale to make it a harmonic scale

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