The Blues is a separate and distinct form of Jazz, and is actually the music from which Jazz
emerged near the end of the last century. From listening to old recordings, it is clear that
instrumental Blues evolved from vocal Blues, which in turn either developed from the
call -and- response form of field hollers and other early Negro work songs (commonly sung in
many parts of Africa), or developed along with work songs from other African music and rituals.

In traditional Slow Blues Lyrics the stanzas consist of three lines, usually a rhyming couplet with
the first line repeated. Each line occupies four bars, with each line usually ending in the middle
of the third bar, and the accompaniment filling out the remaining bar and a half, continuing the
call-and-response pattern. The first two lines create drama by repetition, and the third line
delivers the resolution, or punch:

When I think about my baby, I got evil on my mind,
When I think about my baby, I got evil on my mind,
It brings teardrops to my eyes,
and send chills up and down my spine.

Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Blues knows it is not necessarily "down"
or "depressing" or sad. It is soulful, without a doubt, and the lyrics are frequently concerned
with misfortune and loss, but the Blues is really a complex combination of misery and high
spirits. Often the musical accompaniment is joyous and arrogant, in apparent contradiction to
the unhappiness of the lyrics. This fascinating ambiguity has more than anything else to do with
the universal appeal of the Blues.

Stephen Green

Blues Scales

There are a few basic scale patterns that you should know and understand when you learn the

- The Pentatonic scale.

The Major pentatonic scale is, 5 notes of the 7 note octave scale. For example, in the key of

"C" the major pentatonic scale would be...

C D E G A.

(the 1, 3, 5, 6, tones).

The Minor Pentatonic scale flattens the 3rd and the 7th tone. For example, in the key of "C",

the minor pentatonic scale would be...

C Eb F G Bb.

(the 1, flatted 3, 4, 5, flatted 7, tones).

- The Blues Scale

The "Blues" scale for the key of "C" is constructed as follows....

C Eb F Gb G Bb.

(the 1, flatted 3, 4, flatted 5, 5, flatted 7, tones).