How to play the blues scale in 2nd position on harmonica

Sep 6, 2017 | Advanced Beginner Harmonica Lessons, Practice Tools & Tips, Technique

Advanced Beginner Level LessonHello and welcome to this week’s harmonica lesson which is a short but really important one – how to play the blues scale.

You will need a C harmonica and we are playing in 2nd position in the key of G.

The ‘Real’ Blues Scale

I often get asked how to play the ‘real’ blues scale which I find quite a strange question as there is just one…

Nevertheless, there are a whole group of scales that are variations on the original one or are commonly used in blues music.

While they are useful to know it is important where it all comes from…

The Minor Pentatonic

The Minor Pentatonic is the foundational selection of notes that we use in blues music as well as many other styles of music.

There are just five different notes in this scale. You may count 6 notes in the tab but that is just because we repeat the root note again at the 6 blow.

One extra note gives us the Blues Scale

The Minor Pentatonic is used in a bunch of different genres but if we add one extra note it will become particularly well-suited to blues music.

The extra note is the 4 draw bend (also known as the the flat five).

Try playing the two scales and listen for the difference.

Why practice it?

Why do you need to practice the Blues Scale?

Well, practicing the scale serves two purposes.

Firstly, mechanically going up and down helps you to refine your playing technique – it will help you to play cleaner and faster.

Secondly, the notes within the scale are used in the vast majority of blues tunes so knowing them inside out will make it easier and faster for you to learn these songs. It will also help when you improvise…

How to practice it?

It is important to practice playing the scale with a metronome or a backing track so that you learn to play it in time.

Playing in time with a metronome will also help you to keep track of how fast you can play. If you gradually increase the speed as you get more comfortable with it you will be able to play faster and faster.

Metronome Resources

– Online Metronomes

• Go to Google and search for “online metronome”. They have their own metronome built into their search function.

– Metronome Apps (Smart phones)

Tempo (iOS)- Tempo is my personal favourite metronome (I use it all the time)
Metronome Beats (Android)

– Physical Metronomes

Korg MA1BL Visual Beat Counting Metronome, Blue
(if you buy this from Amazon I get a small commission).

Tempi Metronome for Musicians
(if you buy this from Amazon I get a small commission).

Every Day

The Blues Scale is a foundational element of blues harmonica playing. It is so fundamental that many professional players continue to practice it daily.

This gives you an idea of just how important it is!

Introduction to Improvisation eCourse

If you are desperate to start improvising blues harmonica either with backing tracks or with your musical friends then I suggest you check out my Introduction to Improvisation Premium eCourse by clicking here.

Thank you!

I hope you this helpful and will continue to practice playing the Blues Scale every day.

Thank you so much for taking part in this lesson. I hope it was useful for you. If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with your friends.

See you again for the next harmonica video!

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