Blues lead guitar - lesson 3

Blues in the key of A - backing track lesson 3.
This is the third lesson in the Blues soloing series. The diagram below shows the 3rd shape of the scale, played in 10th position. There are five different main shapes for a certain scale.

Blues in A jam track (using a single scale)

"Texas Rock Blues"

A blues scale shape diagram 10th pos

Instructions: It is recommended to limit yourself to one shape at a time in the beginning and expand your span over the fingerboard as you progress. This lesson focus on the 3rd shape of the Blues scale, as seen in the diagram.
The 3rd shape of the Blues scale is relatively easy considering both memorization and fingerings. Notice that the notes on the 11th fret as well as the note on the 13th fret, 4th string are the "blue notes", which mainly is used as passing notes.
The shape is pretty far up the fingerboard and it can be a little tricky to get room for the fingers and finding a comfortable left hand and arm position.
In this high fretboard position, for an electric guitar with effects such as overdrive and mush gain, you may want to increase the bass by turning the tone knob.

Jam track info

Instruments: Bass, drums, piano and rhythm guitar
Chords: A7
Tempo: 130 BPM


Chord and scale - This particular blues jam track is based upon only one chord, the dominant A seventh. The dominant seventh is the most common chord type in blues. The Blues scale (a.k.a. the Pentatonic Blues scale) is as its name imply a perfect choice to use for blues lead guitar.

A7 chord chord intervals and notes.

1 3 5 b7
A C# E G

A Blues scale degrees and notes.

1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
A C D Eb E G

There is not a perfect match between a A7 chord and the A Blues scale, but it will still sound great to use the scale over the chord.The scale includes the minor 3rd (m3) whereas the chord include the major 3rd (M3). It will not always sound great to play the b3 over the A7 chord (I chord) and one way to tackle this is to bend the b3 note. Often is micro bends used, which can be seen in the following lick:

Tab blues lick

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