SMG Guitar Lesson #25: How Intervals Relate to Blues Scales

This is a follow up lesson from the most recent intervals exercise. If you didn’t catch that one, you may want to go HERE and review it first before moving forward.

Intervals are the key to unlocking your inner guitar god. But if you want to master this most important aspect of guitar playing, you’ll need to make sure that you’re making copies of the worksheet I provided you in the last lesson and doing your intervals exercise on a daily basis…all you need is a couple minutes each day and no excuses!

Take a look at the charts below. Not only do you have the “answer” sheet to the intervals exercise in the left column, you’ve also got how the knowledge of intervals directly relates to the blues scale patterns in the right column. As there are only five octave positions, there are only five basic blues scales, (often called “Box Patterns”), to learn. Note that these charts are laid out as movable shapes and this knowledge can be shifted to anywhere on the fret board.

Here’s how to make the most out of this exercise:

  • Learn to notice similarities between where particular intervals are found in each octave position.
  • Try to fill out the intervals exercise by starting with your “blind spots”, this encourages you to know all your interval relationships in each octave position at a glance.
  • Double check your intervals exercise with the answer sheet  in the left column
  • Take time to visualize how the blues scale fits into each octave position, remembering that the intervals that form a blues scale are Root, b3, 4, b5, 5, and b7
  • Try your hand at playing through each box pattern.
  • Link the patterns together all with the same root so that you can become more comfortable with shifting from one pattern to the next.
  • Slowly develop your intuition of what particular interval relationships sound like and what it feels like when your fingers go there.
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