Blues


Blues Scale Fingering

QuestionQuestion
Sharlene H., Spain

I am doing the Blues Improvisation ‘Blues Scales’ and have a question about fingering patterns. In the C scale we use F1 on White notes and F3 on Black notes but what about in other keys? I don’t know if I’ve missed it somewhere… but that combination doesn’t seem to work with all keys.

Answer
Laurie Richards, Nebraska

The Scale Journey approach is relevant with regard to a visual map. I’ve always involved my students in coming up with blues scale fingerings (other than C). We just work it out together.

Answer
Neil Moore

The fingering of 1 and 3 only works because of the fact that the C Blues scale alternates from black key to white. I provide the suggested fingering to beginning students because of its simplicity and speed of application. As others have said, beyond C, you’ll need to figure it out.

Here’s mine:

C:
RH 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1
LH 5 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1

F:
RH 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1
LH 5 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1

Bb:
RH 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
LH 3 2 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 3

Eb:
RH 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
LH 3 2 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 3

Ab:
RH 3 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4
LH 3 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2

Db:
RH 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3
LH 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3

Gb:
RH 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3
LH 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3

B:
RH 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3
LH 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3

E:
RH 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1
LH 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3

A:
RH 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1
LH 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3

D:
RH 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1
LH 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1 3

G:
RH 1 2 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 4 1 3 1
LH 5 3 1 4 3 2 1 3 1 4 3 2 1

Original discussion started May 8, 2018

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