Blues Scales for Trumpet

The blues scale is used in a wide range of musical styles. There is even an entire genre based on this scale and its chordal progression. Unlike major and minor scales, this scale is not diatonic, but instead based on a pentatonic scale with an added note (the tritone, or halfway point between the octave). The tritone is added to a regular minor pentatonic scale. Beginners often use this scale as a starting point for learning improvisation over chord progressions. Regardless of if you are improvising, it is valuable to practice and memorize these scales to aid in any performance of newer music. If you are not familiar with your major and minor scales, you may want to wait to learn these scales. It is also a good idea to learn the minor pentatonic scales that this scale is based on.

In terms of intervallic relationships, start on the tonic note and continue with:

Minor third (three half steps), Whole step, Half step, Half step, Minor third, Whole step


m3 - W - H - H - m3 - W

Start learning the one octave scales, then progress to the two octave scales but do not play into the extreme upper register until you can do so comfortably. Play the exercises both tongued and slurred. You may want to "swing" the eighth-note exercises when practicing this scale (although it is not necessary).

Soon there will be PDF's without key signatures and in multiple formats. Check back soon for updates to this section.

Click on the links below for free printable PDF exercises.

Blues Scales One Octave
Blues Scales Two Octaves