E Blues 4: Major Pentatonic in Blues

Last Updated on May 24, 2020

The first is about blues, and the second is mode scales.

So, blues is muddy, however we want some "clean" in blues like Eric Clapton's unplugged. His play is renowned because of its theoretical ethic and unique bluesness to be favored by many people around the world. In brief, as a guitarist, he plays both major and minor pentas in blues.

The hypothesis of the reason, how we can use major pentas: It's not only the alteration between E major and E minor pentas.

The CAGED system is horizontal chord system as opposed to the vertical 151351 system. This describes the same chord on the different fret. To resolve the theory, this has 5 form of the pentatonic scale with fret sliding: From C form on C major penta, From E form on E major penta, and from G form on E minor penta. 5 forms are just 5 blocks of pentas.

So, E7, A7, and B7 are the components of E blues. We play E7 on G form. Not only G chord, but the form also has Em7 chord that the root is 1 half notes down from G. Change forms on the same fret, without sliding.

E7: G Form on 1st Fret = G Major Penta (E Minor Penta)

A7: C Form on 1st fret = C Major Penta (A Minor Penta)

B7: D Form on 1st fret = D Major Penta (B Minor Penta)

That is, play three pentas on the chord progression. The D form on the lowest frets uses -1 fret. D form can be substituted by the C form 2 frets up.

Besides, C major = A minor can be played on A form with fret sliding to the next block. A form 2 frets up is D major = B minor. So these can alter pentas between major and minor through change from A form to G form.

These are the example in the first position, the forms are changed in positions in accordance with the theory mentioned above.

It's fun to play using G form on 12th fret (E minor penta), E form on 12th fret (E major penta), A forms on 14th and 16th fret (A and B minor penta), and G form on 14th anf 16th fret (A and B major penta). More briefly, we can play E blues using only G form.

E7: G Form on 12th Fret = E Minor Penta

A7: G Form on 14th Fret = A Major Penta

B7: G Form on 16th Fret = B Major Penta

In case, we'll play in front of thousands people, the awareness is just the gift.


Mode scales can play only 7 forms. How about half note up on E-F and B-C? Just play any scale with 1 fret up. It's like the relationship between the altered scale and the melodic minor scale. The altered scale starts from the 7th note of the melodic minor scale, besides the lydian 7th starts from the 4th note of the melodic minor scale (although, the lydian 7th is just half note down on 7th note of the lydian).

Please free to contact me by E-mail if you have any opinion or comment on this site.
Link: E-mail Adress
Push the "Search!" button to show results. How to search for a word?