How to play blues scale riffs

Joe Perry
Aerosmith's Joe Perry is a master of blues scale riffing (Image credit: Steve Thorne/Redferns)

Beginner guitar: Previously, we've looked at how to play lead guitar using the E minor pentatonic scale. Here, we extend the idea, add the octave below and introduce a new note. This variant of the scale might just be the basis for more classic rock, blues and funk riffs than all other scales combined!

Single-note blues-scale riffs are especially popular with funk-influenced rock bands from Wild Cherry to Extreme, who take funk basslines and convert them into hard grooving guitar parts.

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Total Guitar is one of Europe's biggest guitar magazines. With lessons to suit players of all levels, TG's world-class tuition is friendly, accessible and jargon-free, whether you want to brush up on your technique or improve your music theory knowledge. We also talk to the biggest names in the world of guitar – from interviews with all-time greats like Brian May and Eddie Van Halen to our behind the scenes Rig Tour features, we get you up close with the guitarists that matter to you.