The Blues Scales

by Dan Greenblatt

An excellent book, useful to beginners as well as advanced players.”
— Michael Brecker

THIS GROUND-BREAKING BOOK/AUDIO package will show you (or your students) how to use the Major and Minor Blues Scales to improvise meaningful solos without having to first master all the scales and chords of a tune.

GOOD FOR ALL LEVELS - Essential for beginners, perfect for intermediate students, and even useful for professional players to hone their skills on this crucial and often neglected part of the jazz language.

ACCOMPANYING CD DOWNLOAD by author Dan Greenblatt and his quartet of swinging, New York jazz musicians shows how each exercise should sound. And it also gives the student numerous play-along tracks to practice with.

GREAT TRANSCRIPTIONS from Miles, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Oscar Peterson, Dave Sanborn, Michael Brecker and many more, showing how the Blues Scales are actually used in various styles of jazz.


Available in C, Bb, Eb, Bass Clef and Guitar versions.
Spiral-bound, 88 page text, plus CD download.

  • Step-by-step exercises to get beginning students able to quickly solo using the two basic Blues Scales.
  • Extensive dictionary of classic Major and Minor Blues Scale phrases.
  • Help with transposing the ideas learned into other keys.
  • Numerous ways to expand the Blues Scales to make them even more useful.
  • Appendices for advanced players showing how the masters of jazz use the Blues Scales in their own playing.

Sample Track

Download Tracks

Containing the same information as the original book, the Guitar version features guitar wizard Dave Mac Nab on the accompanying CD download instead of the saxophone tracks. Don't miss the high-level, soulful guitar playing on the Guitar version!

Sample Track


An excellent addition to the growing number of books and CDs dedicated to mastering the art of jazz improvisation. Useful to beginners as well as advanced players, The Blues Scales admirably addresses the vocabulary of the blues — the 'root of jazz.'”
— Michael Brecker

To actually play the blues, you have to know what's in the blues. Dan has done a marvelous job of dissecting the blues and then bringing all the pieces back together so you can make beautiful music. This book will help those who want to have fun playing the blues.”
— Jamey Aebersold

Dan has done a great job with this book! A good method for teaching blues and jazz improvising to beginning students has been much needed. It has been a long time coming, but finally that need has been filled.”
— Junior Mance

Finally a conscientious educator has created a method which focuses on blues scales. It's sure to enhance the aspiring improvisor's vocabulary, as well as expand their ideas for composing. Dan Greenblatt's style of conveying this information is crystal clear, and this will help the aspiring student to become a far more impressive improvisor. Don't miss this book if you wish to strengthen your musical articulation.”
— Reggie Workman

I have seen first-hand how well Dan's systematic and insightful approach to teaching jazz improvisation works with students. With the publication of this book, jazz educators finally have a clearly presented method for teaching improvisation, with the goal of helping students develop the necessary vocabulary to create intelligent, authentic and inspired jazz solos that actually deal with the changes! 'The Blues Scales' will become my essential tool for teaching improvisation at Roosevelt High School.”
— Scott Brown

This is a valuable book, with an innovative and well-explained approach to using Blues Scales in jazz improvisation.”
— Bill Kirchner

Dan Greenblatt is a seasoned saxophonist and educator with nearly four decades of experience in Seattle and New York. He's collaborated with prominent jazz artists like George Cables, Jimmy Heath, and Peter Bernstein, and with Seattle jazz legends such as Chuck Metcalf and Jay Thomas. Greenblatt has taught at reputable institutions including Cornish College of the Arts, The New School for Jazz, and La Guardia High School for Performing Arts. Presently, he instructs at Edmonds-Woodway High School. An author, Greenblatt has penned two books on jazz improvisation published by Sher Music and has delved into the interplay between music and language in academic studies.