Ukulele Scales: Blues Scale

The Blues Scale is very similar to the minor pentatonic scale. There’s only one new note: the flattened fifth (also known as the devil’s interval).

C Blues Scale

The extra note fits in to the minor pentatonic like this:

C Blues Scale Fretboard

Looks like this in tab:

C blues scale tab

And sounds like this:


C Blues Scale

Here’s me having a little mess around with it.


C Blues Mess Around (MP3)

D Blues Scale

Like the minor pentatonic, you can change the key of the blues scale just by moving the same pattern up the fretboard. The lowest note on the scale is the key that it’s in. For example, the D blues scale starts on the second fret of the C string like this:

D Blues frets

And this in tab:

D Blues Scale Frets

F Blues Scale

The same deal with F. Starting on the fifth fret of the C string.

F Blues Frets

blues ukulele scale tab

If you want tab for the ‘blues mess around’ – and plenty of other ukulele blues – check out my How to Play Blues Ukulele ebook.

View Comments

29 Comments

  1. J-Hob July 9th, 2008 6:44 pm

    I’m really enjoying these music theory posts, can’t wait for the blues e-book! I do hope a tab for your little blues mess around or something similar will be in there, it sounds great!

  2. Scorpion July 9th, 2008 6:54 pm

    How do you get all those blues chords?

  3. Woodshed July 9th, 2008 11:58 pm

    John: Hopefully, if I can work out what it was I played.

    Scorpion: The basic chords I used were just C5, F5 and Gm. The other notes in there are all from that pattern. You might be interested in this: Slayer – Raining Blood (PDF)

  4. Art Crocker July 10th, 2008 12:29 pm

    Thanks for the Blues Scales, for some reason I have never run across them. The CBlues Mess Around you did is very cool. I do hope in your spare time you will be able to tab out something close to it.

  5. Nelson July 10th, 2008 4:28 pm

    I <3 yewwww!
    Lovin’ the theory stuff you’re dishin’ out!
    Thanks again, man.

    And whaaa?! Raining Blood?!
    ….joo crazy.

  6. Scorpion July 10th, 2008 5:05 pm

    Thanks for the tab I’ve been waiting for it, right now I’m just practicing to get the next part fast enough and practicing throwing my head around.

  7. Woodshed July 10th, 2008 9:55 pm

    Art: Yep, it’s been tabbed.

    Nelson: I’m blushing now.

    Scorpion: Good luck with it.

  8. uli October 30th, 2008 9:23 pm

    your blues e-book rocks!

  9. Woodshed October 30th, 2008 9:51 pm

    Thanks, uli.

  10. tenaday November 27th, 2008 6:15 am

    any chance i can get that mess around blues tab? i just found the site, looks great. thanks!

  11. Woodshed November 30th, 2008 9:50 am

    tenaday: It’s in my How to Play Blues Ukulele ebook.

  12. chuck carr August 23rd, 2009 3:16 am

    Having a blast with this. I got the ebook as well as a couple uke blues dvds. Definately worth the $ and effort. Chuck

  13. Blues Ukulele Lessons | Ukulele Hunt July 25th, 2010 10:45 pm

    [...] – Minor pentatonic scale – Blues scale [...]

  14. Jake May 14th, 2011 4:11 pm

    Sounds really good mon copain, any chance of a jazz scale at all?

  15. Woodshed May 15th, 2011 11:35 am

    Jake: Thanks for the suggestion. There isn’t really a ‘jazz scale’ the same way there is a blues scale.

  16. bob t. July 19th, 2011 5:04 am

    luv your stuff. Have you tabbed ‘Somewhere there’s
    music’? otherwise known as, ‘How high the moon’? Should sound quite specsh!

  17. Woodshed July 19th, 2011 12:46 pm

    bob t.: No, I haven’t done. I do like the song though so you never know.

  18. Baloo July 23rd, 2011 11:42 pm

    Got “How to Play Blues Ukulele” this past week… great job! One thing that is missing though is the video lessons. They’re a whole lot easier to do than tabbing and writing so can we expect that soon?

  19. Woodshed July 24th, 2011 8:16 am

    Baloo: I may include a few videos, but I’m not a video person.

  20. dee April 24th, 2012 9:35 am

    brilliant stuff!! i love blues music and i kept hearing about blues scales and wondering what they were. as it turns out ive been messing around with these scales for ages and never knew all i had to do was add in the extra note to make them into blues scales…. oh and i love the sound you get sliding the ‘e’ and ‘a’ strings from fret 1-3. as simple as it sounds to you maybe, but i dont think i would have figured that out if it hadnt been for this site. thanks, really thanks!

  21. Woodshed April 24th, 2012 12:38 pm

    dee: Thanks very much! Very glad I could help.

  22. camel August 23rd, 2012 5:48 pm

    Thank you very much for the scales break down, is there any possible way you could map out the scales in minor like you did in your major scales page? I was never trained but am figuring it out and those maps are extremely useful.

  23. Will January 23rd, 2013 12:26 am

    Hi Woodshed,

    Great book. Ripping through the pages for the first read. I can see lots of practice coming up.

    Only been playing since last May. Gave myself a year to find what genre I wanted to try. Blues has got the vote.

    Looking forward to being fantastic.

    Thanks Again.

    Will (Australia)

  24. Woodshed January 23rd, 2013 8:18 am

    Will: Thanks! Good luck with the practicing.

  25. Magpie June 16th, 2013 3:32 pm

    where could we find the tab of you’re mess around ? I can’t stop listen to it !! and thanks a lot for the tutorial !

  26. Woodshed June 17th, 2013 11:18 am

    Magpie: I don’t have a tab of it. It was just improvised.

  27. rags November 21st, 2013 12:28 pm

    How u get your e-book

  28. Manuel Correia June 30th, 2014 12:41 pm

    Al, bought your ukulele blues lessons and i´m very happy with it. It´s very easy to follow and very practical. I also bought two blues e-books from Carl Bludts, AKA (Daddystovepipe) with tablature for 8 blues songs and they are absolutely amazing to play and enjoy and play again. Each one costs 1o dollars but you won´t find better in the whole web.

    Keep pickin´ Al

    Greetings from Portugal

    ps- good luck for the states in the world cup

  29. Woodshed July 1st, 2014 11:19 am

    Manuel: Thanks very much!

    P.S. I’m English and we need a lot more than luck!

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