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Am I on the right path to learning thoery?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Feb 5, 2004.


  1. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I have been posting a lot about thoery and doing a lot of reading on TB. I started learning major and minor scales and came to a conclusion that I identified 3 main patterns for doing a major and minor scale. I'll try to show an example:

    C maj cdefgabc
    ----------2-4-5
    ----2-3-5------
    3-5------------
    ---------------

    ------------4-5--
    ------3-5-7------
    3-5-7------------
    -----------------

    --------------------
    --------------------
    3-5-7-8-10-12-14-15
    --------------------

    I found a similar pattern for the minor. So I play any of these patterns in any key and it all fits anywhere on the neck of the bass (unless you have more than a 4 strings tuned efgabc). So would it be safe to assume that all scales and modes have similar patterns? If so is this a good or correct way to go about learning scales and modes? I also found similar patterns for triads. Before I go any further in this manor I want to make sure I am approaching this correctly. thanks as always! :bassist:
     
  2. Slot

    Slot

    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Its true to say that each scale will have certain patterns that can be used as guides. And there is nothing wrong with learning them this way, everyone does at 1st, however, this is visual learning, and even though it is a great way to get going, it will eventually bring you unstuck.

    What your doing is good though, because your not limiting yourself to the one pattern. The more patterns and variations you work on, the more you will learn each scale's defined "interval pattern", other than just a couple of set finger patterns(if that makes sense)

    One of the hardest and best ways to learn them, is to run 2 octave scales, but set a predefned limit to how man notes you will play on each string.

    Like ....a 2 octave G major scale, but you have to play a minumum of 4(or 3, or 2, or 5, or 6, etc) notes on each string

    like

    3-5-7-8
    --------5-7-9-10
    -----------------7-9-10-12
    ----------------------------9-11-12

    try and immerse yourself into 2 octave scale work as soon as possible, i promise you 100% that you will be 1000 times better off for it.

    And just a little tip, when your running these kind of scales that require left hand shifting, try to always slide up with your 1st(or 2nd) finger, and slide down with your 4th(or 3rd) finger

    for example, with that scale i just wrote out, a good fingering would be

    3(1)-5(1)-7-8
    ----------------5(1)-7(1)-9-10
    -------------------------------7(1)-9(1)-10-12
    -----------------------------------------------9(1)-11-12......

    and down

    12(4)-11-9
    ------------12(4)-10(4)-9-7
    -----------------------------10(4)-9(3)-7(3)-5(1)
    ---------------------------------------------------8(4)-7(3)-5(3)-1(1)



    But yup, all scales will have defined finger patterns that will assist you in learning them. Just make sure that you dont get to fixated on finger patterns alone, because as i said, they will eventually bring you unstuck. They will also lead you to "noodling", which is where you just twiddle your fingers and hope for the best when soloing

    good luck dude ...keep it up
     
  3. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    What I am doing now is taking these scales starting at lets say E for example and running that scale all over the neck, changing the scale hitting it everywhere I can finding the scale anywhere and anywhay to play it in that key assending and decending. Now Slot you mentioned "noodling", so what else should I be focusing on while learning the scales in order to make sure I'm not a noodler? You mentoned not to fixate on the patterns, what else should I do?
     
  4. Slot

    Slot

    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Good stuff ...thats exactly the kind of stuff you should be working on. Learn as many variants as you can. Once you start getting ontop of it, challenge yourself by then trying 2 octave exercises
    Good question......

    To tell you the truth, its alot harder than just saying "this is what you do" and then doing it...

    It all comes down to knowing your arpeggio's, and knowing which notes are going to be the strongest notes to play.

    Alot of people will learn the one pattern, usually this one

    ----------2-4-5
    ----2-3-5------
    3-5------------
    ---------------
    and then just twiddle their fingers, and randomly hit any note whilst soloing.

    The way to avoid this, is to have a good understanding of chordal structure and arpeggio's. Each chord is basically derived from a scale, its called chord scale theory .

    The C major scale has plenty of chords derived from it. I'll show you a couple.

    C - 1,3,5 - c, e, g

    Csus - 1,4,5 - c, f, g

    C6 - 1, 3, 5, 6 - c, e, g, a

    Cmaj7 - 1, 3, 5, 7 - c, e, g, b

    Cmaj9 - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 - c, e, g, b, d

    Cmaj9(13) 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13 - c, e, g, b, d, a

    C6/9 - 1, 3, 5, 6, 9 - c, e, g, a, d

    *note - the 4th(11th), F, is an "avoid tone" in every one of these chords except for the Csus. So in other words, the F is the "weakest" note to play

    ...

    Ok ....so basically the whole point is, the notes used to construct each chord(arpeggio), are generally the best notes to aim for. This go's for soloing, AND bassplaying. Though the most important notes for us bassplayers to hit when laying down lines are the root, the 3rd, and the 5th, all the other notes are great, especially 7ths and 9ths, but 1, 3, 5 is really the "bread and butter" stuff of bassplaing


    Ricplaya, have you thought of learning any jazz standards yet?

    I'd recommend learning something like "autumn leaves", its a nice easy one thats great for when you're 1st learning to solo, construct walking lines etc.

    Download the Autumn Leaves 'playalong' by Jamey Aebersold, and try put some of this chord practise to use. If you need a chart for it, or something like that, i'd be more than happy to post it.
     
  5. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Slot,

    Thanks brother! I don't want to get ahead of myself but I plan on doing it all in time. So you think appregios should be next after I get these scales woodshedded?
     
  6. Slot

    Slot

    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Absolutely...If i was you, i'd start dabbling in arpeggios as soon as possible, they're pretty much the buildng block for everything in music. Especially for us low-enders

    keep it up champ......i wish students as keen as you existed in the real world
     
  7. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Thanks Slot, I'm not anyones student because I can't find one to even get this far with. You guys are my teacher :bassist: Seriously I have gotten this far from your earlier posts and others like yourself. Thanks, for taking the time and sharing your insight!
     
  8. Slot

    Slot

    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Not a problem, man ....glad to helpout :bassist:
     
  9. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    It's pathetic, I live in Motown and can't find a good bass teacher :crying:
     
  10. Slot

    Slot

    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    lol the irony


    I have no idea how the system works over there, but maybe some of the local universitys have a jazz faculty. That would probably be a good place to look

    Or maybe checkout some of the local jazz clubs and find out who the local bass guru is. Then just approach them after the show, and ask if they teach.
     
  11. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    UK
    some would argue it's the only way you begin to learn scales/modes... first learn where your fingers go, and through practice, what begun as simply 'wiggling your fingers' turns into 'playing music' as you begin to recognize what you're playing and you're increasingly able to 'hear' & predict what notes will come out before you play them.. (a great way to practice is to play a note, sing a different note & then try to play that note on your bass)

    the ideal is if you can get to the stage where you can find any note on your bass simply by 'hearing' what you want to play and going straight to it (at which point, you don't really need to consciously think about scales at all - this is the stage alluded to by Dizzy Gillespie (i think) when he said 'learn all your theory, then forget it')... but for most of us mere mortals, it takes years of work & practice to achieve... most people use a combination of their ear and a variety of memorised 'patterns' - and there's no shame in that
     
  12. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    They're out there. Start hitting the local jazz clubs. Ask those guys if they know anybody. Sure, some people may not want to talk to you, but eventually you'll find someone helpful. Somebody there must know a teacher.

    It's hard, but not impossible. You are in Motown after all.