i am confusing about the minor/major thing, can i solo with C minor scale in C major backing track or not??

  • 3
    Why not try it and see what it sounds like? – David Richerby Nov 2 '19 at 18:40

In a word yes!

The whole point of the minor blues scale notes is that they produce a 'sweet and sour' effect against the major scale notes. So out of tune that they sound (sort of) right!

What happens with good blues players is that sometimes they bend the m3 up to a M3; although they also bend it half-way, and the listener 'hears' it go to M3, which, of course, matches perfectly with the I chord. It's also effective to give it a wide bend, as in vibrato, so it alternates between m3 and M3. The same happens with ♭7 and octave.

The ♭7 gives a Mixolydian feel to the piece.

The ♭5 can be considered a tritone substitution note. It's midway between 4 and 5, and could go on either way. But basically, it all works - in a bluesy way.

What doesn't work is the opposite. Using major blues notes over a minor sequence just doesn't.

Having said all that, you don't spectify the C major progression. If it's C - Dm - Em - F - G chances are it won't sound too good. Any combination of C7 F7 and G7, as in Blues, will help it work well.

  • You asked about C minor blues, which is not the whole of the C minor scale - of which there are more than one anyway. You asked 'can I solo?' the answer is yes. Everybody else does - why shouldn't you? – Tim Nov 5 '19 at 6:41
  • but a c minor key have 3 flat while C major have 0 flat.... is it like im actually using a C major/A minor diminished scale ? – Ethan Tang Nov 5 '19 at 8:06
  • You're using, as in your question, C minor Blues scale notes - C, Eb, F, Gb, G, Bb. And bending up , sometimes, the Eb, Gb and Bb. Diminished scale isn't in there. Yes, it breaks the 'rules', which is fine - it's music! – Tim Nov 5 '19 at 8:28
  • wow thats amazing, i did want to keep the rule by understanding it as "using a few notes under [C chromatic scale]/[C minor pentatonic with leading tones scale] ". Otherwise, I need to start thinking about use c minor scale under C major key... – Ethan Tang Nov 5 '19 at 15:45
  • btw, you said I should not specify the C major progression. does it mean that i should solo with the current chord more instead of solo with the current key signature? – Ethan Tang Nov 5 '19 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.