Lesson 5


We don' need no Stinkin Scales!

More Scales. I know what yur thinkin.. BORING ...what has this got to do with the blues?

To REALLY play the blues you have to be extremely familiar with your instrument. Familiar enough to make it up as you go along. It 's known as improvisation and it is what the Blues is really all about. Blues is a mood. It's not a dusty old record somewhere. It's creating a mood in the moment with the sound that comes out of your horn.

Playing scales and other exercises familiarizes you with your insrument. So that when you reach for a musical idea, it happens. Effortlessly.

In lesson one I introduced the major scale on holes 4-7

Did you know that you can also play the same scale an octive lower on notes 1-4 by bending two notes?

We will try it down the scale from hole 4 to hole 1 first because for beginners it is easier to hit a note and bend it flat that to just hit a note flat.

The number is the hole

D = Draw

B= Blow

b = Flat or bent

do  ti  la  so  fa  mi  re  do
4   3   3   2   2   2   1   1

B   D   D   D   D   B   D   B

        b       b

Here it is played slowly:

exercise 1 (slow)

and faster:

exercise 1a (fast)

Now lets try it up the scale.


More difficult, but essential is learning to hit these notes already BENT.

In this scale exercise, the 2 and 3 draw are played bent, then played straight (no bend).

Let the bend come up until the normal tone of the note is heard.


do  re  mi  fa  so  la  ti  do
1   1   2   2   2   3   3   4

B   D   B   D   D   D   D   B

            b       b


Here is the exercise played slowly:

exercise 2 (slow)


and here is the way it should sound when you have mastered it:


exercise 2a (fast)


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