Creating A Basic Blues Scale
A lesson plan by Barry Eli, Cape Henlopen High School, DE
TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:
Electronic Musical Instruments
9-12 Music Theory or Jazz Improvisation
MacIntosh G4 Lab
Korg X5D Keyboards
Sibelius or Finale9 software
Prior Knowledge and Skills:
Knowledge of major scales in all keys
Knowledge of major and minor intervals.
Basic keyboard skills
Basic knowledge of Sibelius notation program
NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:
NAfME standard of 1994: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
NAfME standard of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
NAfME 2014: Performing
NAfME standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME standard of 1994: Reading and notating music.
NAfME 2014: Creating
NAfME standard of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
NAfME 2014: Responding
Mac G4 Laptop with projector
Powered speaker system
To download any of the following worksheets Mac users control-click and Windows users right-click the following links.
Worksheet 1 – C Scale
- Students wil be able to take a major scale in any key and create a basic blues scale from it.
- Students will be able to play the scale on the keyboard into Sibelius and play it back.
- Students will be able to sing a major scale and a basic blues scale.
Worksheet will be in a template Sibelius file to work in
*Prior to each activity the instructor will play the next step and ask for feedback- what do you hear that is different? Have the students sing what they hear.
- Students will create a C major Scale- play it and sing it back
- Students will re-write the C scale and lower the 3rd note of the scale 1/2 step- play and sing both scales back
- Students will re-write the C scale including the lowered 3rd and then lowering the 7th note of the scale-play and sing back
- Students will re-write the C scale with the lowered 3rd and 7th but eliminate the 2nd and 6th notes-play and sing back
- Students will write the abbreviated scale and add an extra 4th note- they will be asked to raise the extra 4th 1/2 step creating 1 b3 4 #4 5 b7 8- play and sing back
- Students will demonstrate the ability to change a major scale in the key of F (Worksheet #1 Student Excercise) into a basic blues scale
- Students will demonstrate the ability to change any major scale into a basic blues scale
- Students will be able to sing and play a basic blues scales in a given key
- Students with instrumental ability will be able to play the scale on their instrument
Creating other jazz scales i.e. Dorian
Apply the blues scale to the creation of a melody over a chord progression