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2 Questions Regarding Scales Kinda

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MudKricket, Aug 17, 2007.


  1. MudKricket

    MudKricket

    Aug 11, 2007
    hey everyone,
    lately ive been drilling scales into my head, forwards, backwards, every possible place on the neck. i only have Gmaj, Cmaj, and Amaj down to the point that i can play them without even thinging. but im having trouble as to what to do with the scales, like how do i apply them to my playing? also, a dirtbiking accident a few years ago messed my hands up pretty bad. every things recovered and fine except for my lefthand pinkie. i cant play the E and A strings whatsoever with my pinkie, and i see this as a problem while playing things such as scales speedwise. i was wondering if anyone has encountered a similar problem or has any suggestions on what to do. thanks
     
  2. Just J

    Just J Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    It's amazing how many bassists I've seen who use mainly 3 fingers.

    You can play all the scales without using your pinkey, but it requires some pretty constant shifting. Just practice it, and you'll get 'em up to speed. BTW, if you know the shape of one major scale, you pretty much know them all on the bass. It's just a matter of remembering the notes.

    As far as what to do with them... play 'em. Learn a song that uses the scale... Sweet Home Alabama is in the key of D, but you can play the Gmaj scale over it.

    Oh yea, you gotta learn the arpeggios to the chords in the scales. You might learn a song that may be in the key of G, and uses a I - IV - V progression. Knowing the scale and the arpeggios will help you connect the dots and outline the chords.
     
  3. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    Oh, scales are useful in so many ways there's no way I can list them all here... Play music as much as possible and transcribe songs (write down the chords to them and/or the bassline) and you'll find out what you need them for. You will start seeing patterns and you will learn how to use them. In addition to only the major scales, learn the pentatonic major and (especially) minor scales too. 99% (guess) of all funk bass lines out there are based on the minor pentatonic or blues scale (Blues scale in A: A, C, D, D#, E, G, a. For a minor penta, remove the D#).

    For your other problem with your pinky, I don't think that will be a huge problem. Speed is not everything, but I think you will be able to play pretty fast anyway if you're desired enough to learn that and, if needed, apply some special technique to cope better for the weak pinky. A lot of people are uncomfortable with playing with their pinky, too (not me however, I'm lefthanded and play righthanded basses). Btw, are you familiar with the guitarist Django Reinhardt? He had only two working fingers on his left hand (except from his thumb) and he's a big inspiration source for many guitarists. ;)
     
  4. MudKricket

    MudKricket

    Aug 11, 2007
    thanks guys i too am left haned but for some reason i only draw and write with my left hand. and my pinky isnt really weak, its just bent inwards and its all wierd haha. o well it hasnt been a big problem i was just wondering.

    i can write lines to songs no problem but i started learning scales because my band always calls on me for solos and i cant really do anything that good except slaping a little extension of what im already playing. it works but i would like to get better. im not sure if i learned 2 different things, i first learned Gmaj as (G,A,B,C,D,E) which i assume is right. but then i saw a sheehan video and he explained how he learned it and it sounded different he played 3 notes per string. so i learned that too. ugh im very confused on whats going on. forgive my lack of knowledge on the subject, i have no experience with any kind of theory. im lucky i know what some notes are beside the string names.
     
  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Pac Man's sure fire scale practice method - it's what the Dr. ordered.

    (IMHO)
     
  6. Just J

    Just J Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    Gmaj is G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G. I know a few songs in G, but they're G mixolydian (or G7, G7 dominant), that's G - A - B - C - D - E - F - G. It seems like a pretty common key. The b7 (flat 7) is popular in forms like funk too.

    You can play the G maj like so as well (I think this is right... I suck at this without my bass):

    E: 3 - 5 - 7
    A: 3 - 5 - 7
    D: 4 - 5

    Learning to use the scales is something you really have to teach yourself. No amount of us talking will help you hear them better. Learn a simple progression, like 12 bar blues, and practice soloing using arpeggios. My instructor constantly stresses, when soloing you want to land on certain "safe" notes, these are the chord tones (first, third, fifth, sometimes the 7th). By land, I mean hit the note on a beat, or hold the note. When you get the hang of soloing using the arpeggios, you can start "filling in the blanks" with the rest of the notes in the scale.

    Remeber, the scales are what the notes of the chords are taken from. There are many songs that kinda "break" from the norm, but for the most part every note of every chord in the song will be in the scale. Learning to apply these properly will get you on your way to ripping out some cool solos.

    Finally, LEARN AT LEAST SOME BASIC THEORY! I CANNOT stress this enough. Learn all your scales and modes (bass makes this easy, the shapes of the basic scale never change up and down the neck), learn chord structure (very important, most guitarists don't know the key, just the chords. You knowing the chords, your scales and how chords are put together will make it easy for you to figure out the key, and therefore what you can and cannot play), learn basic roman numeral analysis, etc.

    [EDIT] Oh yea... learn the pentatonic scales. Those are used the most when soloing.
     
  7. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    this was posted in technique.

    Your pinky problem is likely due to bracing issues. If you push down the string EVER with your pinky, you should be pushing down with all four fingers. The E string is under about 100 lbs of pressure. The pinky just isn't strong enough to do it on its own.
     
  8. MudKricket

    MudKricket

    Aug 11, 2007
    i can hold the string down but my pinky was broken and it is kind of pointed inward towards my palm and my ring finger can reach further than it anyways.

    it sucks not having a teacher but i cant find one cheap enough that is willing to pick up from where i am already and i dont really feel like learning to read music.ive tried and i like cant do it at all i dont know why maybe cuz ive been using tab for like years i dont know tho
     
  9. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Kricket- get one lesson with the best teacher you can find. A good teacher can fix more in one hour than you can in 1,000 hours online!

    Where do you live?
     
  10. MudKricket

    MudKricket

    Aug 11, 2007
    upstate new york, near rochester

    i really want lessons but i feel that ive come a little to far to forget everything and go back and read music i dont feel like learning things all over again
     
  11. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Sorry, I don't understand that statement, especially if it's a general advice and not specifically for MudKricket because of his pinky problem. The piece of advice just doesn't fit together with the OFPF technique. I have no problems at all pushing down any string with my left pinky, or even two at the same time ("power chords"). If my action was much higher than it is, it could start feeling a bit harder though.

    +1 on getting a teacher. The first lesson I had improved my technique a lot, it was the best spent 20 € in my life. (I know, lessons are pretty cheap here, at least if you have some contacts ;) Even if the price would have been twice higher, it would still have been worth it).
     
  12. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Deacon- just read his original post about not being able to push down e and a with his pinky.

    I have taught the technique I mention above and eslewhere to at least 200 bassists since the early nineties, and all of them have benefited from it.
     
  13. Just J

    Just J Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    There is no way you will take a step back when you begin learning to read music and theory. You already have the basic skills, learning to read music and adding some knowledge of music theory just gives you far more tools and will increase your value as a musician.

    It's like being an artist and learning how to use a tablet and vector graphics program. You can still draw, but although it may take a little to quickly grasp the new knowledge, as you learn the program it'll become far easier to do things you couldn't do with a pen and paper.
     
  14. MudKricket

    MudKricket

    Aug 11, 2007
    its funny u said that cuz i am an artist and ive taken computer generated arts classes and im much better on paper than i am with the tablet regardless what program i use. i know what ur saying tho.
     
  15. Just J

    Just J Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    lol, dumb luck. I was trying to think of an example, and that was the clearest since both relate to art.

    Have you ever taken any drawing classes? If so, I'm sure you picked up some tricks that have helped improve your art.

    Give it a whack, it's really easier than it seems.
     

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