Major And Minor Pivot Points

My disclaimer here: if you’re not already soloing, this will probably be over your head. Which means that, while I’ll encourage you to watch it and file it away for later, don’t plan on being able to play stuff like this any time soon.

Now if you are soloing, you know that the big secret to blues soloing is judicious use of both the major and the minor blues sounds. Sure you can use just minor, but if you know how and when to put the major sound in… that’s better.

BUT – while a lot of folks know you that can use the major sound, actually doing it is something completely different… and that has to do with how you know your boxes.

We typically don’t learn boxes from root notes, we learn them from the 6th string. If I can get you to start to re-think that today, then you’re on to some pretty big things.

Last thing, this video was used to introduce a course I did called Major/Minor Blues Shapes and if you are at the point where you want to be a LOT better at switching between the major and minor blues sounds then I’d encourage you to go through that course.

You can also test your skills first, if you want, on the blues guitar scale trainer I made for you.


  • Dave P

    Reply Reply December 11, 2017

    Why are the Minor blues boxes in key of G but Major boxes are in Key of C?
    Its a ball of confusion when trying to compare the two.

  • bill ormerod

    Reply Reply October 18, 2017

    Nearly halloween and it gets really spooky I’ve just been making that discovery for myself this last couple of weeks Brilliant to have it rationalised though it’ll save me a lot of mental arithmetic.. hadn’t gat as far as overlapping the boxes yet on my voyage of discovery fact my head is hurting thinkung about thinking about that ..but great to have confirmation and a nudge that it is a good if not vital direction to explore ….Now where were those aspirin ..


    Reply Reply October 18, 2017

    That was great new tricks are always welcome…I will use that blues guitar scale triner for sure….

  • Don Kitch

    Reply Reply October 18, 2017

    Thanks, Griff! Now can you take it a step further and move away from the box examples and talk a bit about combining elements of Major minor inside a run? Appreciate your insughts.

  • Dave Hofacker

    Reply Reply October 18, 2017

    Great lesson Griff!! Really helps me understand how to mix the major and minor sounds together!! Thanks!!

  • الصناديق – حصلت على شعور جيد من أنماط ولكن تم تمسك قليلا مع الانتقال من رئيسي إلى طفيفة. التركيز في هذا الدرس على القدرة على استخدام الملاحظات الجذر غير تلك الموجودة على السلسلة 6 يعزز الحاجة إلى أن تكون قادرة على العثور على جميع الملاحظات الجذر في جميع أنحاء المجلس.لذلك – انها كل غريست للمطحنة. شكرا على ذلك والهتافات.

  • Art Martinez

    Reply Reply May 18, 2017

    The first time I saw this I was absolutely confused. I would start off really good and feeling comfortable and then; WHAM!!! Confusing set in; brain overload. Then one day the light came on and it was cursing and having a blast. Anyone who finds themselves confused as I did when I first started my advice would be; STOP, take a break, then return to the start and go over it again. Get comfortable with the part that you find easy to understand and to refresh where you got stuck. Then take bits and pieces, joining each piece once understood and join with the previous. Bits and pieces. Griff lays it out in fantastic style, it’s usually the individual brain that gets overloaded (Mine is easy to get overloaded for sure) but stick with it and it will come.

  • daniele

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    HI Griff!
    thanks so much for all you give !
    I have been watching you for long time and even got some of your courses but this one did fit my logical mind so well!
    I hope i am right … minor box 1 with major 2
    minor box 2 with major 3 ect….
    Thanks again!

  • Bob Cook

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    You called this one right griff! This is where I’m at as another 74 year old player, love all this stuff! keep It coming

  • TJMath

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    Thanks Griff. Great lesson as usual. Very helpful. You are a great musician/performer and teacher. Hey it was great to finally meet you and your wife at BGU Live at Lake Arrowhead. I’m an easy mark cause I was usually walking around with my cane and one of few with an Ibanez. (-:!

  • Joseph Thompson

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    Very good lesson and intro into playing all modes in 1 box area.
    And much easier said than done.., although Griff, you do have a natural ability to explain things better than most others Ive heard.
    Thnx Griff, now if I could just find some more time away from business…

  • Chaplain Ed

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    ANOTHER well presented explanation that this 74yo player has missed all these years. Your teaching methods and presentations are exactly what I relate to. Thanks Griff. Keep on keeping on.

  • Jack aaron

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    Exactly where i have trouble when taking a solo. Can do when not under pressure. Sure this lesson will help. Tks again Griff

  • David Rees

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    Don’t know whether you have tried the scale trainer recently but – to me – it seems out by a half-step; eg setting C#/Db 4 R Maj seems to be showing C major from the root on 10th fret of 4th string to octave at 13th fret 2nd string. Hoping I’ve got this wrong but needs a test!

  • JimJ

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    How does one “file it away” without a d/l~?

    Thanks for this lesson.

    I appreciate you.


    • TJMath

      Reply Reply May 10, 2017


      I just usually bookmark all of Griff’s e-mails with links in a Web browser folder I call ‘BGU’ or something you’ll recall later. I find myself going back to these Web links (and some are pretty old) and playing the videos again. Now I believe most of these are YouTube video links so you might be able to get to them or some of them friom YouTube but I don’t know if that’s a guarantee? But so far his embedded links in his e-mail with the video has always worked for me. Also, I keep all of his and BGU e-mails saved away too in my e-mail account.

      But fair warning I am not a BGU staffer!!!!


      Tom (T J Matheson)

      • JimJ

        Reply Reply May 14, 2017

        TJ Matheson, thanks for the helpful reply. My fav way to store Griff’s “email” video’s is on my harddrive. When he sends one out without the d/l version I get a little frustrated. Griff is so generous with his mailing list students~! No complaints here~! I am a BGU customer and Griff is my goto guitar Guru. Sincerely, JimJ 5/2017

    • jeff

      Reply Reply October 21, 2017

      you can use Keep Video .com to DL most any online video for free to your HD.

  • David Griffith

    Reply Reply May 10, 2017

    very helpful, Griff … still working my way through your chart showing all the notes on the fretboard. Bit slow with that – just up to C and G after more than a week but as that exercise improves my pick handling at the same time as showing the root note on each string, it’s fine if it takes awhile longer than expected.
    The boxes – got a good sense of the patterns but have been a bit stuck with moving from major to minor. The emphasis in this lesson on being able to use root notes other than those found on the 6th string reinforces the need to be able to find all of the root notes across the board.So – it’s all grist for the mill. Thanks for that and cheers.

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