Thursday, August 17, 2006

NAF Playing TIp #26: Jamming with the Blues

If you love the blues and and you love the Native American Flute, then this weeks playing tip is for you. Even if you've never played the blues, I hope that you find this weeks tip a fun challenge to expand your playing skills.

The good news is that the minor blues scale simply adds one more note to the basic pentatonic minor scale. This is the basic scale found on most modern Native American Flutes. The scale shown in the illustration below is the basic blues scale. The note in the middle of the illustration is the additional note which turns the basic pentatonic minor scale into the 'blues scale'.

Another great link for this scale is on Flutetree.

What is the 'blues scale' you might ask? Well if you've ever heard any blues music or even some modern rock or pop music, it's likely that you've heard the blues scale. It's simply the primary collection of notes used to create the melody lines in a blues song. The basic idea is that once you know this scale, you can mix these notes in any order and they'll all sound good together, and they'll sound like the blues.

Now if you are unfamiliar with basic blues progression, I found some MP3 music tracks online that you can download and play to hear the guitar, bass guitar and drums playing several blues progressions. Listen to these tracks a couple of times and then use the blues scale to try to play along with the backing instruments.Here are the MP3 files which you can download and play in as backing tracks:

Use an Em or Am flute for this song:
Blues Shuffle in Em

Use an Am or an Em flute for this song: Funky Blues in Am

Use a Gm flute for this song: Jazzy Blues in Gm

To view the webpage and related music for these tracks follow this link.

It gets even more fun if you can find a guitarist or piano player who can play some basic blues. If the other musician can tell what fundamental chord progression they are playing in, you should be able to select an appropriate flute. Or conversely, if you have a Gm flute, then ask the musicians to play a blues riff in Gm.

Experiment and have fun with this. Please post a comment if you found this fun, or if you happen to find other, similar free blues tracks on the internet.

Creative Commons License

This Playing Tip is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License


1 comment:

Byron Ellis said...

Seems Like all of the links on this page are dead
What a shame, they looked really interesting.