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What's the point of scales?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Dbt25677, Nov 15, 2013.


  1. Dbt25677

    Dbt25677

    Jun 9, 2013
    I'm not saying they're useless, but what are they for and what's the advantage of practising them?
     
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  3. wisconsindead

    wisconsindead Supporting Member

    May 16, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well I'm no expert, but scales have provided me an easy way of finding the right notes to play when I dont know the song. Knowing the chord or key gives me the framework which tells me to hit a D instead of a D#, for example. I think it can be limiting to playing as you may feel it is wrong to leave the scale even though the notes which aren't in it can be used for certain effects or in certain styles, modes. Scales serve as intervals between notes which ultimately bring about a certain feel, its why jazz and blues sound the way they do.

    I am really only familiar with the diatonic scales like major, minor, mixolydian and dorian (7 notes and the octave) where each letter is represented. The blues scale (hexatonic) is different in that it has a flat 5th or sharp 4th which I almost never play unless im in some weird spacey jam, where flat fives sound kinda cool.

    I think scales will open doors, learning more is always a good thing
     
  4. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    Carl is a sly fox.. not sure he was going here, but ... its kind of like saying 'What good is the alphabet?" ...

    .. it is from all those 'letters' that words are made ... kind of like from those scale notes, musical phrases, melodies and chords are made ...

    Carl, close?? ;)
     
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  6. Pudge Fish

    Pudge Fish Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    MD
    WOW. Well put, "what good is the alphabet?"... :-D
     
  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Beside being a good way to get used to your instrument and find where the notes are on that instrument plus train your ear to know the sound of what is accepted as being a good and or bad sound there is the fact that the major scale is the foundation our music is built upon.

    That alone should be enough reason to practice them.

    I have said this many times; "I know of no instrument that does not start you out running your scales." Just getting your fingers working on the fretboard is reason enough.

    Of course IMO.
     
  8. oboylebass

    oboylebass

    Oct 31, 2006
    AMERICA
    Scales are the musical equivalent of learning how to spell
    words. You pretty much have to learn them.
     
  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    elsewhere
    Just off the top of my head:

    1. Fingerboard knowledge.

    2. Ear training.

    3. They are the basic building blocks of melody. A melody constructed from the Phrygian mode will have a much different flavor than one constructed from the natural minor, even though there's only one note of difference.

    Warning: there is a contingent of bass players, well-represented on this forum, who feel that scales are unimportant (or even detrimental) to what we do. They are wrong, and I will debate them any time. (And for those who enjoyed - or hated- my "In Defense Of Slapping" thread, there is a very good chance you will be seeing an "In Defense of Scales" thread pretty soon.)
     
  10. huckleberry1

    huckleberry1

    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    Disclosures:
    student
    Bach or Beethoven said " my scales have set me free"!
     
  11. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

    Nov 17, 2010
    Well, they're useful for knowing how heavy your bass is.

    But seriously, melody. Without melody, you are missing a fundamental component of music. Maybe your question is: what good are scales for bass?

    1) They provide a framework from which to create lines to connect chord changes (yes, chord tones are important, but in my mind, non-chord tones are important to creating more original basslines.
    2) They form the basis for the formation of chords by stacking alternate notes from the scale.
     
  12. lpcarter

    lpcarter Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    Minneapolis, MN
    +1
     
  13. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    AHAHAHA brilliant

    well done my good sir

    post of the year

    +10 internets
     
  14. Pudge Fish

    Pudge Fish Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    MD
    seriously... i love you guys.
     
  15. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Thou shall not F*** up the groove Supporting Member

    What did the fox say??? :D


     
  16. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    ...my goodness...:confused::crying:
     
  17. Ronbassman

    Ronbassman

    Jun 1, 2011
    Scales give fishes some degree of protection from their environment, allow for better movement under water while, at the same time, giving them a great amount of flexibility.
     
  18. Jim Nazium

    Jim Nazium Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Takoma Park, MD (DC)
    Exactly! Ever try to sell something in the TB classifieds? The most important thing is to list how much it weighs. For that you need a scale.
     
  19. PullMyFinger

    PullMyFinger

    Nov 8, 2013
    Yes, he is a sly fox. But, I took from his post as meaning, "All the letters are there on the keyboard but, what good are they if you don't practice where each letter(note) is so that you can make words(music)? But that's just me. Mr. Vegas.
     
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Don't let them fill yer head with a bunch of fancy book lernin'