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Introducing the Country Scale
Learning the Blues Scale is, for many reasons, almost certainly the easiest route to take into the subject of improvising on guitar.
In the long run however, it is likely that you will more often find use for the Country Scale than for the Blues Scale.
This is because with one or two notable exceptions, the blues scale cannot be used directly to improvise to songs written in a Major key and I think it would be accurate to say that Songs written in Minor Keys are, if you'll excuse the pun, in the minority!
The good news is that if you have been following this course reasonably diligently you have already learned the patterns needed to play the Country Scale!
They are the same as the Blues Scale.
To illustrate here are the notes of the E Blues scale:
E G A Bb B D E
And underneath are the notes to the G Country scale
E G A Bb B D E
G A Bb B D E G
Can you spot the connection?
E G A Bb B D E G A Bb B D E G
Both scales use exactly the same series of notes -- the Country scale just starts and ends one step further along the series than the blues scale does..
This takes a bit of getting your head round but if we listen to the E blues scale played over one octave from E to E It has a bluesy, minor key sound.
If I play the same pattern but starting on the G I get a more happy-go-lucky, major key country sound.
This can perhaps be heard more clearly if you follow the Blues scale run with an E chord: (Listen to video)
Or An E7 chord: (Listen to video)
...Both of which seem to fit in a nicely resolved bluesy sort of way... or an Em chord: (Listen to video)
Which perhaps sounds more like a Minor ballad resolution..
If I play the pattern from G to G -- giving me the Country scale and play a G Major immediately after it gives a nice sense of Major resolution and if I slide into a G6 -- something of a Country cliché ...you can really hear it as a country scale...(Listen to video)
Just as the Blues scale has many uses beyond just Blues music, so has the Country scale many applications beyond just Country music.
In the next lesson we'll look at several examples of how to use this information to good effect, but for now I suggest just taking a few minutes out to explore this interesting musical relationship for yourself.
See you in the next lesson!