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Suggested fingering for two octave scale?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by chardin, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. chardin

    chardin Supporting Member

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    I looked around but couldn't find an answer to my question. Can someone suggest how to play a scale for two octaves on a four string bass? Let's use the F major scale. I go from the first fret on the low E and get stuck on the third fret of the D string.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002

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    Easiest way would probably be to skip down to the F at the eighth fret of the A string and start again from there. That's the main advantage of multi-stringed basses to me; you can continue your scales vertically rather than having to skip up the neck.
  3. Bassman_Spike

    Bassman_Spike

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    Im learning all the major scales over 2 octaves at the moment.
    I started at C here is the way i play it

    G 12 14 16 17
    g a b C
    D 7 9 10 12 14 15
    a b C d e f
    A 3 5 7 8 10
    C d e f g

    SOrry it looks a bit dodgy but thats the only way i could do it...Play all the notes on the A string then D string then G string

    I go back to the second C along the G string then just backwards to the root C
    Use that pattern of fingering on the A string
    If you still need help just ask and i will also post the G scale that can be used for all the scales starting on the E string
  4. Bassman_Spike

    Bassman_Spike

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    oh yeha and i have a sheet some where that has C and G major tabbed out over two octave with fingering so if you want a copy i could scan it for you, just give me a yell:cool:
  5. stephanie

    stephanie

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    There's a few different ways you can play a 2-octave scale, it all depends on where you do the shifting.

    As for your example, here's one way of playing F Major:

    E string:
    F - 1st fret
    G - 3rd fret
    A string:
    A - open
    Bb - 1st fret
    C - 3rd fret
    D string:
    D - open
    E - 2nd fret
    F - 3rd fret
    G string:
    G - open
    A - 2nd fret (1st finger)
    Bb - 3rd fret (2nd finger)
    C - 5th fret (4th finger)
    D - 7th fret (1st finger)
    E - 9th fret (3rd finger)
    F - 10th fret (4th finger)
  6. wulf

    wulf

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    Try this one:

    G|--------------------------7-9-10-
    D|-----------------5-7-8-10--------
    A|---------3-5-7-8-----------------
    E|-1-3-5-6-------------------------
       1 1 3 4 1 1 3 4 1 1 2 4  1 3 4

    It gives you two octaves over four strings and, by avoiding open strings, is a moveable pattern.

    The numbers at the bottom are the fingers on the fretting hand - shifts are required to cover the distance, for example, you start playing F with the first finger, slide up to play G with the first finger, then A with the third and Bb with the fourth.

    However, bear in mind that this is just one possible fingering - it's also worth playing the scales slowly, naming the notes as you go and picking out a different path each time in order to really get the sound in your ears and not get locked into a particular route for your fingers.

    Wulf
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

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    I'd go with wulf - the key there is moving the first finger up instead of the last on each string.
    moving the last finger up at the end of a scale is a bad habit!
    "once you start down that root, forever will it control your destiny" :p

    That said, I dont know when I've ever needed to play a two octave scale ;)
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

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    Try Jaco's 'Havona'!! ;)
  9. wulf

    wulf

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    I guess this is a place where you could apply the idea of tetrachords, where you break a scale into two sections of four notes each.

    For a major scale, the gaps between them are tone, tone, semitone (TTS) for the first tetrachord, then up another tone (+2 frets ... or up a string and -3 frets) for the second... which also goes TTS. That's why the patterns of fingers and slides are the same on the first two strings of my suggestion.

    On the D string, the pattern is different, but that's because we're now leading off from G rather than F. If you like, you're now playing G dorian, because the next 8 notes will take you from G to G but using the notes of the F major scale.

    I stopped a note too early because I was interested in the F major scale but, if I'd been continuing, I'd have played 1 slide 1 2 4 (D E F G). That's TST as the gaps in each of the two tetrachords of a dorian scale.

    Were I to continue upwards, I'd be onto tetrachords of the phrygian mode (STT and STT) and so forth. By thinking in terms of these building blocks, you'd find that you could not only play two octave major scales but also two octaves for any of the other modes...

    Wulf
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

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    interestingly i thought about getting my head round these tetrachords the other day to help me learn an octave and a half of a scale - then move to two octave scales.
    i mean sure i can a play a two octave scale, but it isn't automatic yet. I figured by taking it in steps this way i could learn more gradually.

    thing is there genuinley isnt many situations where i'd need to play a two octave scale - it'd mean several bars on one chord or some 32nd notes or whatever, in most cases, i find..

    i find it considerabley harder toplay two octave scales - i think this is because of the shift in left hand position that's required... although i guess this isnt a problem for you wulf, 6 strings et al?
    note to self: must get more strings on bass :)
  11. wulf

    wulf

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    The shifting is worth working on - even when you're not playing scales, it's an invaluable skill and often opens up ways to play a riff that help your fretting hand stay relaxed.

    I think being able to rattle off any given tetrachord along one string would also be useful, as an adjunct to thinking about shifting around on the neck... but must admit that I actually need to sit down and practise it rather than spouting off on the basis of theory ;)

    Wulf
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

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    yes agreed. it's something i make conscious effort to do when i need to move up and down the neck.. that said i do aspire to minimum finger movement and position shift :)
  13. wulf

    wulf

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    Why not change that aspiration to 'minimum unnecessary finger movement and position shifting'. Economy of motion is a good thing... but if it causes you to hold your hand in unnaturally stretched positions to avoid a bit of judicious shifting then it's a false economy ;)

    Wulf
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

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    yes, indeed, philosphy altered.

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