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Attacking the neck

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    So I'm starting to learn to read bass clef. I can read treble clef well (I'm a converted sax player), and I've been playing bass for 10 years, and I finally want to get into reading bass parts. I don't know bass clef well, and I don't know the notes on the neck very well. I've bought a progressive scale studies book, which covers all keys and octave, and is not necessarily designed for learning notes in any one position on the neck. It starts with scales in arpeggios in all keys, and then moves on to 2 octave scales, etc.

    My question is this: should I be appoaching the fretboard in sections, or tackle the neck as a whole? I feel like I'm trying to learn three things at once (bass clef, notes on the bass, position shifting). What are your thoughts, bass gurus?
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  3. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Pacman's link above is a great plan. I'll be working on that tonight.

    I would add that I have had good results by trying to extend the range of "home bases" I have on the neck. Everybody learns to use G on the E string as a "home base" right? You immediately know where notes are in relation to this note. So I took it up to the 10th fret on the A string and did a lot of practice up there. I repeat the names of the notes as I play them.

    Another sugguestion is to play the major, minor and other scales by intervals while saying the names of the notes you play. This gets much more difficult in less common keys.

    I like to play it in 3rds the most. E.g. for C Major play C E D F E G etc... up and down. I have to give credit where credit is due. I learned this from Adam Nitti and highly recommend his ideas. Check out: http://www.adamnitti.com/lessons.shtml

    I guess the key point I'm parroting here is to truly disect the major and minor scale in every key in as many positions as possible on the neck while saying the note names. You'll own it after some effort in this area. BTW, I will be renewing my commitment to my own advice. :oops: :D
  4. Pacman, that is a very interesting way of practicing scales. I played piano for many many years and my teachers never taught me that. I can definitely see the advantage of knowing the scale and where to go no matter where you start. You are absolutely right that In most music you don't get to pick where on the scale to start your run, or lick it is governed by the song/writer. Thanks for the info it will help me immensly(sp) as well.

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