I notice that the blues scale uses notes that don't fit into the regular pentatonic scale, is there an entire scale that incorporates this method?

  • 1
    You mean heptatonic? Aug 20 '12 at 5:20
  • This is from a guitar player. To guitar players, the pentatonic scale IS the 'regular scale' :-) But seriously, confirm whether you really mean 'pentatonic' and we can attempt a helpful answer. Briefly, there are many scales, and real music uses them as a basis, not as a restriction. Apr 21 '17 at 11:21

A chromatic scale is a scale starting at the root note where every note on the scale is a semi-tone apart. On a piano if you were to start at one note and hit every key up to the octave, you'd have a chromatic scale.


C Chromatic: C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C

D Chromatic D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D

E Chromatic E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E

F Chromatic F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F

G Chromatic G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G

A Chromatic A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A

B Chromatic B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A#

Ad Nauseum for all the sharps. I'm pretty sure that's correct, and an expert in theory can verify me :D.

  • 1
    Also worth noting that every chromatic scale has the same notes in it. Only the root changes from one scale to the next (a bit like the modes, but with less of a tonal center).
    – yossarian
    Jan 25 '11 at 14:58
  • 1
    Interesting relevant bit of trivia: chromatic, from chroma, meaning color, is so named because notes that do not fall into the implied key are usually called "color notes."
    – NReilingh
    May 31 '11 at 20:01

Instead of the tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone pattern of major scales, C major being CDEFGABC, each note is a semitone apart - C chromatic being C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb C.

On your guitar, this is the equivalent of playing every note from C to C, or in tab:


To add to Jduv's answer, the harmonic chromatic scale has a set form, whereas the melodic chromatic scale does not, because it depends on the key and whether or not the scale is ascending or descending. The chromatic scale is also a nondiatonic scale.

  • This isn't a difference in the scale itself, only in how it is notated. May 31 '11 at 18:11

Chromatic and blues scale are two very different scales.

In Western music, there are only 12 notes: C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C again

If you play all these notes together, the scale is called the chromatic scale (probably named because it contains all the "colors"). Obviously the chromatic scale in all keys are exactly the same.

The blues scale can be two types. In both cases, it is a pentatonic scale with a "blue" note.

Major blues scale: 1 2 b3 3 5 6 ; Minor blues scale: 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7

Let's see an example. You probably know C major pentatonic and A minor pentatonic scales are the same, because of the relative major/minor concept.

C major pentatonic: C D E G A ; A minor pentatonic: A C D E G

So the corresponding blues scales will be -

C major blues: C D Eb E G A ; A minor blues: A C D Eb E G

You see, the "blue" note in both cases are exactly same.

I wrote more than needed, but the point is blues scales are actual scales, whereas the chromatic scale is not a "scale", but more a concept.

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