The blues scale isn’t just for blues – it’s been used in some of rock and metal’s biggest riffs and solos, too. Here’s how to make it work for you, no matter what style you play

Dimebag Darrell onstage in 1994 with Pantera
(Image credit: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

The blues scale is one of the most important guitar scales to learn, whether in rock, metal or – naturally – blues.

This scale is a hexatonic scale, which means it has six notes. Essentially, it’s a minor pentatonic scale with the addition of a b5th interval in between its 4th and 5th degrees. 

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Simon Barnard

Simon is a graduate of the UK's Academy of Contemporary Music and The Guitar Institute, and holds a Masters degree in music. He teaches, examines and plays everything from rock to jazz.