Id like to share with you the method I believe is the best way to not only practice scales, but to learn the fingerboard of your bass, and really start getting your ears together. This is the method taught to me by my teacher and I want to share it with all of you. This method applies to all electric basses, regardless of the number of strings. For the examples, however, well use the 4-string configuration. Additionally, all examples will be in the key of C major, but it is very important to practice these exercises in all keys once youve gotten the concept down. One of the problems I think many people run into with scales is that they practice them from root to root. That is, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and then maybe 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. While this is a perfectly acceptable way to learn and practice scales, its not a) practical or b) musical. I say practice your scales from the lowest note on your bass to the highest. Lets begin with C major. Ill spell out a C major scale and show the note function or number beneath: C 1 D 2 E 3 F 4 G 5 A 6 B 7 C 8(1) So in C, the lowest available note in the 4-string is the open E string, which we can see is the 3rd of the scale. Start with the E and play E (the 3rd) F (the 4th) and G (the 5th) on the E string. Continuing the C major scale on the next string, play A (the 6th) B (the 7th) and C (the root). Still going up, play the open D (the 2nd) E (the 3rd) and F (the 4th). On the G-string play G (the 5th) A (the 6th) and B (the 7th). Come back down the scale the same way. I find that it helps if you say or sing the note function (number) as you play it. This gets the sound of each note in your head. Its far more important to understand what the 3rd of a major scale sounds like, for instance, than to recognize an E when you hear it. The second box will start with the lowest F on the 4 string. Continuing in C major, youd play F, G, and A on the E string, B, C, and D on the A string, E, F, and G on the D string and A, B and C on the G-string. Remember to sing or say the scale numbers to really get the sound of the harmony in your head. The third box starts on the low G. G, A, and B on the E string. C, D and E on the A string. F, G and A on the D. B, C and D on the G-string. Continue moving these boxes up the neck in this manner. I generally practice this up one octave from where I started and then come back down again. If you do this, youll notice patterns emerge (hint: there are only 3. Ever. No matter what.) You can (and should) practice any and all scales and modes in this fashion. My suggestion is that once youve gotten this concept down you practice all your C scales and modes on one day, the next day all of your C# scales. Then your D scales, etc, etc. If you practice in this manner, your knowledge of keys will grow equally and even the tough keys wont bother you. Thanks for reading.