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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know where to download some free blues scales & practice patterns of intermediate difficulty? Thanks!

Sulyen
 

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What exactly are you looking for? As an intermediate player, I'm guessing that you already know your blues scales in all the keys.
Are you looking for patterns to help get them more fluent? Are you looking for methods to help get them more musical?
If you give us an idea of why you want to use these scales, what context you want to use them in, what you're having difficulty with, etc. perhaps we can help direct you to the appropriate resources.
 

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Jazz Handbook by Jamey Aebersold (Free)

Hi Sulyen,

I think you may find these Jamey Aebersold Jazz resource of interest. Under the "Free Jazz" menu, there are several pages on Blues, including the Blues scale and it's use, and plenty of other free information that you may find helpful.
 

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Hey Sulyen!

Here's one of my very favourite exercises for blues; you do it "by the numbers," though, rather than reading from a book.

1. Starting in C (i.e. over C/C6/C7 etc.), play this pattern using straight eighth notes:

1-3-5-4-3-4-2-1

:line0: :line1: :line2: :space1: :line1: :space1: :space0: :line1:


This should sound familiar but not very bluesy: it's a basic major pattern you'll find in a million books, and you should be able to do it smoothly with good tone and at a good clip.

2. Once you've got that going nicely, flat the three and play that a few times.

3. Once you've got that going, alternate back and forth between the two.

4. Once you've got that down, play it with the flat three and the flat five as well.

5. Now alternate all three patterns.

If you've kept your good tone and speed, this should sound awesome and nice and bluesy. Once you've got it down, finish it by playing the coolest blues lick you can, but resolve to the major third (i.e E :line1: )

Now do this in all keys (I like to go by fourths).

I like this exercise for a number of reasons, but especially because of the way it forces me to think about the sound of the major 3, the flat 3, and the flat 5 in relation to the basic chord. This is something that just playing the traditional blues scales doesn't do.

I also love to use this one to practice low notes: when I'm doing Bb, B, C, and C# I really dig into these low tones and try to tongue them really nicely. It also forces you to know where the 2 and the 4 are in all keys, which also helps big time when you're playing blues:D

Cheers,

Rory
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the links and suggestions, folks!
To Dog Pants: I was first chair tenor sax at a local university several years ago and am getting back into playing after a long hiatus. I'm trying to relearn much of what I've forgotten and am not yet fluent in basic blues scales in all keys. So I'm looking for complete basic blues scales and interesting variations on them, then patterns exercises within those scales that also have interesting variations. Thanks again.

Sulyen
 

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Sulyen: If you have to read it, you are missing the essence of the blues. Develop your ears and your improvisational skills to play the blues. www.redhotjazz.com can provide hours of listening material.

Over the years, one thing that always bugged me was/is a combo playing a non-melodic, no-name blues. Most of us who've been around a while can play "THE BLUES" in most if not all keys. But the problem with that is that there are SO many great blues tunes with distinct melodies that to play a no-name "BLUES IN F" should be a crime.

If it were me, I'd search out all the famous blues from the jazz Age (1920's) and later, if that's your bag; and learn the melodies, then the chord changes, and do your practice using the known melodies.

I could name MANY of these tunes (and would be glad to do so in a PM, if you want) but you can find them. They are out there. Look for Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Clarence Williams, Spencer Williams, Jelly Roll Morton, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Sidney Bechet. They recorded tons of this material. DAVE
 
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