Originally Posted by golfcart
Good afternoon guys and gals...I've been playing the bass for a few years now but I never got the basics down. I was thrown into the praise and worship band at church and learned to play A LOT of songs and I'd say I'm doing it pretty well. BUT...I'm totally embarrassed to try out amps and basses in music stores because I was not taught (or took the time to learn) anything besides what to do...and when...My overall knowledge of the bass is honestly horrible. I know "most" of the notes of the bass without thinking about it, and the major scale. Beyond that...I'm lost...If you handed me a bass and told me to play something, I wouldn't know what to do. Now, since you all know how pitiful I am...I'd like direction with my practice.
We normally do not play the tune, we play chord tone accompiment. So don't worry about someone asking you to play "something". If that ever happened run a scale or arpeggio for them.
I've decided this year that I was going to learn how to play the bass, not learn how to play the right notes. To be honest, its hard to sit and practice scales when I can play songs. Of course, I can only play songs because I was told what note to play. |
Luckily our piano play is amazing and he covers up a lot of my mistakes.
I've decided to start with Major scales and learn all the notes within the scale. Question...must I learn all the notes in the scales? lol. Will this help me? I guess I am trying to figure out what to learn first in this mess. Anyone that has any input would be much appreciated at this point.
Learning all the notes of the major scale, i.e. C has no sharps or flats and E has 4 sharps, the F#, C#, G#, & D# is an undertaking you do not have to embark on right now. IF you play patterns and use fake chord sheet music and compose your own bass lines.
I suggest you start with your patterns:
Bass Patterns based upon the Major Scale box. Major Scale Box.
G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
Want the Cmaj7 chord. Find a C on your fretboard and put the pattern's R over it then play the spelling for the Cmaj7 chord. Which will be the R-3-5-7 scale degrees within the box. Want the D major scale find a D note and place the patterns R over that and then play the R-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 scale degrees within the box.
See a chord - the spelling will be....... Basic Chords
• Major Triad = R-3-5
• Minor Triad = R-b3-5
• Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5 7th Chords
• Maj7 = R-3-5-7
• Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
• Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
• ½ diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
• Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7
See a chord and play it's chord tones. As every key will have three major, three minor and one diminished chord it's a good idea to get your major, minor and diminished bass line chord tones into muscle memory so when you see a chord your fingers just know what will work. Now the song may only give you enough room for the root, or root five - adapt and get as many chord tones into your bass line as needed. Root on 1 and a steady groove from the other chord tones plus something to call attention to the chord change is what we do.
Generic Notes - for your bass line.
• The root, five and eight are generic and fit most any chord. Remember the diminished has a flatted 5.
• The 3 is generic to all major chords. So R-3-5-3 will fit under any major chord.
• The b3 is generic to all minor chords. And R-b3-5-8 will fit under any minor chord. Why the 8? Well the 8 is just another root in the next octave.
• The 7 is generic to all maj7 chords. Yep, R-3-5-7 fits nicely.
• The b7 is generic to all dominant seventh and minor seventh chords. G7 = R-3-5-b7 or Gm7 = R-b3-5-b7.
• The 6 is neutral and adds color, help yourself to 6’s. Love the sound of R-3-5-6 with a major chord.
• The 2 and 4 make good passing notes. Don’t linger on them or stop on them, keep them passing.
• In making your bass line help yourself to those notes, just use them correctly.
Roots, fives, eights and the correct 3 & 7 will play a lot of bass. Scales: The scale spelling for several of the scales:
• Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
• Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
• Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
• Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
• Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
• Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
• Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.
When you get that into muscle memory go get some fake chord sheet music and follow the chords. C chord coming up in the song - you know that the R-3-5-8 will give you a safe bass line. Probably R-5-R-5 will be enough. If you need something more try R-5-8-5. Need more throw in some of the 3's and 7's. It is possible that pounding out just roots may be all this specific song may need.
Ed Friedland's book Building Walking Bass Lines will be time well spent. www.studybass.com
is another site you may like.
Pull up some fake chord sheet music and see if you can play along to what is written. http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/n/no..._heart_crd.htm
Watch the bass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g35zS1tVO3o