Blues scale on the fretboard

All scales can be divided into five positions or forms along the guitar fretboard. One way to remember how those forms relate to each other, is by using the CAGED system.

Let’s use the A-blues scale as an example:

  • Interval: 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
  • Notes: a c d e-flat e g

Below follows the five forms of the A blues scale. The numbers in the forms shows the fingering, the underlined numbers in bold are the root notes, ie, in this example the tone A.

By moving a form along the fretboard, the key of the scale played changes. If the E form below is moved so that the root note of the scale on string six, is positioned on the third fret – that is, the tone g – we get the G blues scale.

If the diminished fifth (b5) is removed from the blues scale, the result is the minor pentatonic scale.

It is important to learn where the root note of the scale is positioned along the whole fretboard!

E-form

The E-form of the blues scale.

—–4—–—–5—–—–6—–—–7—–—–8—–—–9—–
S114
S214
S31
34
S413
S5
123
S614

D-form

The D-form of the blues scale.

—–6—–—–7—–—–8—–—–9—–—–10—-—–11—-
S1134
S213
S3123
S414
S5
14
S6134

C-form

The C-form of the blues scale.

———-—–9—–—–10—-—–11—-—–12—-—–13—
S1123
S214
S31
3
S4134
S5
13
S6123

A-form

The A-form of the blues scale.

———-—-0/12——-1/13——-2/14——-3/15——-4/16—
S113
S2134
S31
3
S4123
S5
14
S614

G-form

The G-form of the blues scale.

—–1—–—–2—–—–3—–—–4—–—–5—–—–6—–
S113
S2123
S31
3
S413
S5
134
S613

The entire fretboard

The entire fretboard with all CAGED-forms and positions.

Note! The numbers shows the intervals of the scale tones and not the fingering.

A010203040506070809101112
E[5]b71b34b55
Bb34b55b71
G[b7]1b34b55b7
D[4]b55b71b34
A[1]b34b55b71
E[5]b71b34b55