The Flatted Fifth Blues Scale

Adding the flatted fifth to the pentatonic minor scale produces the famous blues scale. This is a really awesome scale for learning to solo - so awesome that we really don't need to go anywhere else to create some great music! 

Here's a diagram of what it looks like on the fretboard:

The numbers on the dots indicate the musical distance from the root note, R. 

Is this scale familiar to you? On a scale of 1 to 5 how would you rate your confidence in using it to create guitar solos? Let me know in the comments below!

Leave a Reply 14 comments

Peter Nye - July 30, 2020 Reply

3. I know the scale very well, both regular and with blues notes, but really haven't been able to apply it to soloing yet.
Question about what "note" we're in or want to be. So usually I start at the 5th fret, which would be in the note of A, yes? And say if folks wanted it in the note of B, I'd start the exact same scale pattern on the 7th fret, yes? thanks! Enjoy your vids!

    Jonathan Boettcher - July 30, 2020 Reply

    Hi Peter, we would say what "key" we're in, and in this case, the first note of the pattern dictates that. So yes, you're correct that the 5th fret, 6th string is an A, and 7th fret is a B. To move this whole pattern to B, just shift everything up by two frets, and you would be playing B pentatonic minor.

      James Fay - December 6, 2020 Reply

      Finally learning the right scales. It's starting to make sense. From a drummer's perspective, I can already hear it. As long as I can count, I'll be able to pick the tempo. I'll just forget it the next day.

        Jonathan Boettcher - December 6, 2020 Reply

        Lots of players aren't very aware of the rhythm in the beginning, and this is probably the single greatest reason many solos sound sloppy. I think your background in drums will be a real benefit to you!

- July 30, 2020 Reply

Thank you

Svend Arenbrandt - July 30, 2020 Reply


My priory interest is soloing , melody single string melody playing in the style of Hank Marvin, also f.inst. Zoe McCullock and Swedish Roger Paulsson. i have quite a large collection of their recordngs.

Kindly comment and recommend for my purposes.


    Jonathan Boettcher - July 30, 2020 Reply

    Hi Svend,

    It's a little hard to say how appropriate the course will be for you, as I've never seen you play and I'm not sure where you're at in your journey. That said, the course is designed to help get you comfortable improvising and modifying guitar licks. The licks are presented in my own style, because that's how I play, but the beauty of it is that when you learn them, you naturally re-interpret them into your own style. So, I believe there would be benefit. At the end of the day, I always stand by my satisfaction guarantee, so if you're willing to try the course, I'm fulling willing to give you a refund should you find that it is not helpful for where you're at.

    Jonathan - July 30, 2020 Reply

I have purchased several video course from Jonathan,he is a great teacher,and very easy to follow and understand,doesn't make guitar playing complicated,makes it fun and shows you how to sound like you have been playing for Years!! Rock On!

Sunil Manawadu - August 7, 2020 Reply

Hi Jonathan
Thanks so much for contacting me after a while. Hope all is well what with the virus about. On a scale of 1 to 5 my confidence with soloing is I would say is 1. I am familiar with the blues scale somewhat but no good with playing around using the scale.
I am considering purchasing the Vid . What is your honest opinion whether it is going to be helpful to me.
Thanks for your opinion.
Take care

    Jonathan Boettcher - August 7, 2020 Reply

    Hi Sunil, I believe the course would help you. That's always a difficult question for me to answer, as I've never seen you play, but I designed the course, in part, to keep in mind people who didn't have much or any experience soloing. Some of the examples may seem a little fast for you, however I believe in every lick I've included slower alternatives that you should be able to engage with. My best advice is to simply try the course, and if for some reason you find it is not a good fit for you, you have 60 days to get a refund. I really do stand behind that refund guarantee, because it gives people a no-risk way of seeing if it will help them.

    I hope that aids your decision, somewhat.
    Best regards,

      Sunil Manawadu - August 12, 2020 Reply

      Hi Jonathan
      Thanks so much for replying to my query . I shall go ahead and purchase your
      Blues soloing course which I am certain would build my confidence.
      Kindest regards

Jerry Piatt - August 8, 2020 Reply

I'm currently enrolled in your Scales Pattern course. one question, when I want to use the Pentatonic Minor scales, I need to know the key for the song and then use the scale for the relative minor (six chord) of the key. Is that basically corrctice?

    Jonathan Boettcher - August 8, 2020 Reply

    Hi Jerry, that's a great question, and yes, you're bang on correct! In terms of placing the scale in relation to the key, you can treat the pentatonic minor exactly the same as you would a diatonic minor, which I talked about more in scales course.

William Leuthner - May 1, 2021 Reply

Listening to you took some of the fear I was experiencing while trying to play solos. I'll remember the pentatonic scale and try to relax. Your comment regarding alternate picking which I practice on the c scale or the g scale helped immensely. I'll hook my fender and try the pentatonic scale tomorrow,

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