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5 string bass scales & modes diagrams?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Rocks, Apr 8, 2009.


  1. Rocks

    Rocks

    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Hi,
    I've just switched to a 5 string bass and I'm looking for scale and mode diagrams but haven't found much for a 5 stringer. Does anyone know where I can find any online? I did find one site that let you choose a tuning, number of strings, etc, and then it would make the diagrams but the diagrams were way to small and didn't show the patterns on all of the strings.
     
  2. ZonGuy

    ZonGuy

    Sep 2, 2007
    Assuming the 5th is a B, the pattern on the B-D string is the same, just move up 5 frets.
     
  3. onlyclave

    onlyclave

    Oct 28, 2005
    Seattle
    The notes of all of your modes and arpeggios are all the same regardless of how many strings you have.
     
    Marihino likes this.
  4. +1! I'm also getting my first 5ver soon as well. :)
     
  5. dukaruk

    dukaruk

    Mar 12, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    The fretboard printer over at studybass.com has everything you need.
     
  6. Rocks

    Rocks

    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Thats the one I didn't like, it was too small for my old eyes.

    As far as the suggestions that the scales are the same, thats all find and dandy, but it still isn't getting me a diagram I can actually see so I can learn them in the first place. ;)
     
  7. H2ODog

    H2ODog

    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    You can change the size of the fretboard by going to the DIAGRAM tab and adjusting the size then print it. If it gets too long you can change the Page from Portrait to Landscape.
     
  8. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    MA
    I switched to 5-string last year after many years of 4-string. Below is a something I've posted a few times in response to this question. This scale approach and chart works equally well on any number of stringed basses.

    In order to learn the fretboard of the 5, just keep grilling yourself on what key you're in while you're doing these scales (i.e. I- C ionian, II- D dorian etc), as well as intervals. I also sometimes test myself, as in "find all the A-flats on every string" - fast...

    Old post verbatim:

    Learn about "chord-scale compatibility", i.e., the C major scale is the Ionian scale (I) C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, ... the II scale in C major is the D Dorian scale (D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D), and so on with III (Phrygian), IV (Lydian), V (Mixolydian), VI (Aeolian), and VII (Locrian)

    Memorize all these scale patterns and practice shifting between them keeping in mind where you are relative to your root key (i.e. I, II, V, etc). Practice intervals, arpeggios etc across these scales, ascending, descending, also ascending on only 2 strings up 2 octaves, then descending down a different area of the fretboard. Hours of fun. PLUS, you'll see patterns and relationships you may not have previously noticed.

    This is most easily seen in the chart below. I'm not a professional musician, so anyone more knowledgeable out there: please correct me if there's something wrong here.

    The Dorian pattern is offset to the left on purpose, because I want to remind myself to start with my second (index) finger for the Dorian scale. For all other patterns, if the first dot is in the bottom left position, start with the second (index) finger. If there's an open fret space left of the first dot, start with the 3rd (middle) finger. The reason for this is that if you follow this convention, then moving up or down a single string (rather than using the next string up or down) will always have the pattern continue 1 whole tone up from the last note in the 2 or 3-note section of the pattern... This makes it much easier to move around the fretboard with accuracy.

    attachment.
     
  9. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, I find this kind of stuff pretty pointless. It's much better to learn the music, not the shapes. A one octave scale pattern doesn't really help you play music. So, learn the way the major scale is built (W W H W W W H) and that the key of C major has no sharps or flats. Then apply that to the neck. The 3rd fret of the 5th string is D. From there you can learn it all, and LEARNING is much better and more useful than memorization, especially of shapes.

    jte
     
    Marihino and mambo4 like this.
  10. Rocks

    Rocks

    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Asher, thats closer to what I am looking for, but I want the patterns to show every note that can be played in that position on all strings. The was one of the things I didn't like about that one site that was suggested, it didn't show all of the notes possible, only the ones needed to make up that part of the scale. For example, if the scale is in E and I'm playing a 5 string, I know there are notes on the B string that fit the scale, but they are not shown. In the example you posted it is for a 4 string an still doesn't show all possible notes in the posistions.
     
  11. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    MA
    Maybe I don't understand what you're looking for, but I think you're making this more difficult than it needs to be. The patterns I posted above can be used starting with the root on the low B string, and a given scale can be played across 3 strings (e.g. B, E, A strings), then you can just play the second octave of that scale starting on the A string, and up through the D and G strings. I do that all the time when I practice, with scales and arpeggios. Is that what you mean?

    You can also extrapolate these patterns as you see fit if you don't want to change position. If you work that out on your own you will know it much better than if you study someone else's charts.
     
  12. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    MA
    JTE, I agree... sort of... These patterns can be very instructive in learning harmony and chord structures that apply across the fretboard, regardless of what key you're in. It's not meant to replace knowledge of key signatures and notes, but to complement that knowledge. Also, as I wrote above, I use these patterns only as a basis to play all along the fretboard, over 2-3 octaves, in many configurations (double stops, arpeggio patterns, and melodies, i.e. MUSIC....).
     
  13. James_E

    James_E

    Jan 26, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
  14. Rocks

    Rocks

    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Ok, let me try and explain better. I used to have a poster that had all the shapes of the pentatonic scale for guitar. The shapes were shown with every note in the shape that fit the scale. In other words it didn't just show one octave of notes in the scale even if they were above or below the starting and ending points of one octave worth of scale. The example you posted as an image above only shows one octave of the pattern and I want to see where the patterns go beyond one octave in each position.
     
  15. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    That's exactly what I'm talking about. I think it's vital to see what notes are in any scale, arpeggio, mode, whatever all over the neck, and without regard to starting on the root. But I think it's a MUCH better learning tool for you to sit down and LEARN this yourself. Take some paper and write your own charts. That gets you into thinking about what notes need to be in the chart, and where they are, instead of just being a trained monkey putting your fingers where someone told you to.

    If you know what notes are in an A pentatonic minor scale, or in Dmin7 arpeggio, or in the lydian b7 scale, and you know that the lowest string is E, you should be able to figure this all out for yourself. And you'll LEARN it that way too.

    jte

    jte
     
  16. Rocks

    Rocks

    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio

    I understand what you're saying, but there is a reason I am looking for the patterns. I am going on vacation, driving across the country and while I'm not driving I made it a goal to do nothing except learn and practice these patterns and do it all finger picking (I played with a pick in a metal band, trying to break the pick and go all fingers) The combination of the shapes/scales along with the use of only finger picking is going to help me with my finger picking and also build some muscle memory for shapes I can build off for improvising. Sure I can just do exercises for finger picking, but this way I can get more from it in a way that works for me.

    When I first started playing bass I was shown one shape of the pentatonic scale. I practiced it forwards and back and learned how to improvise using that shape. It only took me so far, but I milked it. Then I learned the next shape, played it over and over, forwards, backwards and inside out - this opened up 10x as much as only knowing the first shape. My improvising was drastically improved. Now I want to continue this and learn the rest of them while sitting in the back of a car driving across the country.
     
  17. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    MA
    I agree with JTE: The best way to learn this is to make your own charts. By all means take what I put up and extrapolate on it. Why can't you do that while you're not driving the car? You don't need an actual bass in front of you, maybe just a printed out map of all the notes on a 24-fret 5-string (easy to find on the web).
     
  18. Rocks

    Rocks

    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Because as I said above the main goal is to work on my finger picking, I'm only using the scales and patterns as something to do with my left hand while I practice finger picking. Seeing how no one seems to know where I can find this already made I guess I'll have to make it myself. I just didn't want to waste time making a sloppy looking scale pattern by hand if I could find something nice and neat that I can print.
     
  19. This style of learning has DEFINITELY helped me learn modes, scales, and be comfortable in every key.

    Here's a hint: on a 5 stringed bass, it is possible to play a 2 octave scale (any of the 7 modes) WITHOUT shifting once - start on your index finger. You'll have to do some major third stretches (span of five frets), but is definitely possible. All 12 keys, all 7 modes.

    If I understand you correctly, here is what you are trying to get at: If you use only the 7 modes in C major (ionian, dorian, etc.), how many patterns are there to play a Cmaj7 chord? (I count 11). Hint: They can only begin at the 1st, 3rd, 8th, 13th, or 15th frets... You can do this for all keys & modes.

    Whereas I agree that you should learn the music & theory behind the patterns, knowing the patterns will enable you to play a given chord structure in ANY key, not just the ones you are familiar with. You might not be able to immediately describe the chord associated with the locrian scale in the key of B, but at least you know the shapes & if required, can whip out a great solo over an A#m7b5 (alt: A# half-dim).

    It is analagous to learning how to do a decent pushup. The pushup in & of itself is fine, but the reason you do it is to strengthen your chest & triceps. When you are playing sports (e.g., football or basketball), the motion of the pushup is not often done exactly, but your arms / chest have been conditioned & the pushing action happens automatically. The same is true for all calisthenics. Learning a technique allows the real-world execution to happen subconciously.

    Keep charging.

    ian
     

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