Minor Blues Scale (adding chilli to the humble minor pentatonic)

The minor blues scale is a great way of expanding your playing by adding one extra note to the minor pentatonic scale.  The interval we will add is the b5.  It adds tension and think of it like a smattering of chilli that you are adding to your food.  Don’t hang on the note to long as it will sound too harsh or use it too much.  If you bend into note, slide or use hammer ons and pull offs it will sound great.  Below I have put the note in some patterns across two string patterns.  Have a go at learning the string sets then try and join the patterns as you get more confident.  Remember that the red note is the Root note and if the song is in the key of A then make all the red notes A.  There is the patterns below as well as a bluesy backing track in the key of A to try out.  You can use this scale over a Major Blues, Minor Blues and Minor sounding song.

Enjoy and ‘Be Your Own Guitar Hero’



Respect My Cat Blues In A

Psycho by Muse

First off, you will need to tune your guitar to dropped “D” tuning so that low to high your guitar will be tuned to DADGBE.

The song starts with simple single string riff happening entirely on the low D string. Since the left hand notes are pretty simple it will give you a good opportunity to lock into the groove of the riff which is probably the most important thing to concentrate on.

You will also want to make sure you keep the slow bend well timed and in tune. 

This all leads into the chorus riff which is also performed mostly on the low D string. This chorus riff does require a bit of a stretch at one point so make sure you have your thumb in the proper position behind the neck in order to let your fingers reach those notes easily.

The verse of the song brings everything down to a much lower dynamic level and contains a simple rhythm throughout with a heavily muted feel to it. However, there are many fills thrown into this riff and it moves around the fretboard quite a lot. 

Its a great song to learn and really feels good when you get it.

Muse – Psycho pdf

Minor Blues Scale

The minor blues scale is a great scale to learn.  It is basically a minor pentatonic scale with an added note.  The added note is a flattened 5th interval.  This iterval gives the scale more tension and adds a chromatic line to the scale.  Learn to play each pattern and use licks to improvise the scale.  Enjoy  Mike

Generic Minor Blues

Congratulations Peter

Well done Peter reaching a milestone today after completing your 200thScreen Shot 2015-04-23 at 16.29.08 lesson.  We have covered so much within that time and I always look forward to teaching you.  Today we covered a fingerstyle version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps  which Peter did so well.

Keep it up.  Mike

The House Of The Rising Sun

This classic song is based on an old traditional folk song that was first recorded around 1934.  Only one of the members of the animals was credited with his arrangement of the song as they couldn’t fit the other names on the contract so all royalties go to one member.  This caused some tension within the band!  Try building the song up as it progresses through each chorus

Below is the chord chart for the song.

The House Of The Rising Sun

Some recent feedback from a student of mine

hi mike
I just thought I will leave you some feedback as you had been teaching
us for some time now.
“You had been very supportive and pitch your teaching to suit me and my son who are very different learners. You are very encouraging and this has  motivated me to continue having lessons as I just only wanted to try initially. You are flexible and tailor your teaching to meet our needs and we ( my son and me) both have benefitted by this. This new experience have transformed me. Thank you.
best wishes


Feedback from students

Any time I get a new student it is a new challenge to find out how they learn and find the most effective teaching way I can help them develop.  Heres some feeback from a previous student of mine.

Having not played a guitar for decades, Mike soon got me back on the road to helping me understanding the nuts and bolts of music.  Also he has a wealth of his own supporting charts, backing tracks and scores which he is happy to share with you, which you can use to work through at home.  He has a relaxed style and his talent is such that he can be very flexible in taking you where you want to go through lessons which I certainly found to be good value and a great help to me.
Best wishes,