Originally Posted by DannyShem
Can someone explain what is so special about the bass line for "Son of a Preacher Man"? Various bloggers are pretty enthusiastic about this bass line, but I don't understand what they are excited about (I am a beginner).
One blogger said this bass line by itself is a "advanced course in using pentatonic scales".
The bass tabs relate that the line is "based around major pentatonic shapes".
Bass tabs: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/d/du...r_man_btab.htm
Bass transcription: http://www.levork.org/wp-content/upl...Full-Score.pdf
Let's see what Scott has to say on pentatonic scales. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enWrSrIGcY4
The 2nd measure of the song you listed has these notes:
E-G#-B-B-C#. All of them can be found in the E major pentatonic scale. Notice the song is in the key of E (4 #'s) The E major scale notes are: E F# G# A B C# D# The major pentatonic will omit the 4 and 7 notes and end up with five notes. See below......
Playing Pentatonics - following the chords and playing the chord's pentatonic scale notes over that chord does sound good.
To sound good the melody line and the harmony line should share like notes. How many like notes? One like note per measure gets harmony, so just pounding out root notes does work, however, two like notes per measure is better. Three would be OK, probably not necessary as one got you harmony, but the more the merrier.
The pentatonic scale will have three notes of the chord and then two safe passing notes -- so those notes ARE going to sound good if played as harmony notes over the chord.
Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 -- E-F#-G#-B-C#
Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 -E-G-A-B-D
Major Scale Box.
G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
So follow the chords and play the notes of the chord's pentatonic scale over that chord will sound good. As we probably are in 4/4 time - 4 quarter notes per measure - and you have five notes --- If that throws you, leave one out.