SMG Guitar Lesson #28: Blues Scale in 5th Octave Position

Play Along Video! Blues Scale in 5th Octave Position

Here’s what the blues scale in fifth octave position looks like

Here’s an example of how to play the 5th octave position G blues scale from the video

As with all scale patterns, it’s important to learn it in a way that is musical, so that you’ll have some ideas to branch off from while improvising. Here’s an easy beginner exercise using only the notes in this scale pattern. (Note: If you want to print the tab out, simply right click on it.)

When you’re studying a key, it’s important to take note of how it translates into the “open range” of the fretboard (i.e. within the first four frets), how it “runs off the end” of the neck, and which open strings you may be able to use. Beyond the fourth fret, every key is virtually the same, with all the same scale patterns, chord inversions, and movable shapes as every other key. Only in the “open range”, i.e. where a key “runs off” the fretboard, is it truly unique. Here’s the same exercise transposed one octave lower into the open range.

In the key of E blues, the fifth octave position pattern falls between the ninth and twelfth frets. Here’s the intermediate level exercise from the video using only the notes from the fifth octave position E blues scale pattern.
Stay tuned for the next set of lessons, as we’ll cover how to combine the basic blues scale with major and minor scale patterns for additional color notes, as well as some blues shuffle exercises to help you get your rhythm going. Remember, there’s no quick fix, no silver bullet, and absolutely no substitute for practicing your guitar…I recommend six hours a day, but maybe that’s just me! – I’ll see you in the next lesson.

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