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Another blues quest...
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Another blues question.

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Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1281
Topic starter  

okay, here goes.
when i hear that "this song is a blues song in the key of A" - i think of A major, D major and E major as the chords, and that although minor and major pentatonics can be used the "blues scale" for this progression would be the minor pentatonic with the flat 5th.

however, if somebody says "this is blues in A minor", what would the chords be (Aminor d minor and e minor??) and which scale would be the "blues scale". If the chrds are minor then the a vlues scale would not work in the saqme way would it? as i know it is common to bend the c upto the c# over major chords??

or am i confused - is the term "minor" not referring to the chords but just to the blues scale?

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5108

My guess is that they mean A minor pentatonic scale --hence blues in A.

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Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973

is the term "minor" not referring to the chords but just to the blues scale?

The term "A minor" is referring to the KEY that the song is in. In a 12 bar blues, that often implies the chords that you said, i.e., Am, Dm & Em. But the Em could equally be E or E 7 instead, as songs in minor keys commonly use the major chord instead of the minor for the V chord (thanks to the harmonic minor scale supplying the necessary notes). Other chords too turn up in blues songs in minor keys. (e.g., F7 in the key of A minor)

The A blues scale, being just the minor pentatonic plus the flat 5th (Eb) will fit in nicely, although bending the C up to the C#, won't work like it does in major keys, as there's no underlying chord containing a C# for it to resolve to.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833

The minor pentatonic or blues scale works with either minor or major backing chords, but the major pentatonic or major blues scale only works over major chords.

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