Book of scales and exercises

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Usul, Sep 10, 2000.

  1. Does anybody know the name of a good bass scales book?I want to pick up one so I can learn all of my major/minor scales.Prefer book form so I can have all the info in one convieniant place.I have downloaded a few scales offline but need more.

  2. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
  3. and I have the most complete book of scales written for the bass that you could ever want. It's called "The Bass Grimoire" by Adam Kadmon. It's published by Carl Fischer. Grimoire (rhymes with guitar) means a book of magical formulas, a magicians manual. It is a VERY comprehensive breakdown of all of the scales, modes, and patterns and all is shown graphically on fretboard layouts. There's even stuff in here that isn't really well known like hirojoshi, kumoi, persian, enigmatic, and neopolitan scales.

    It's about $18.00 from Carl Fischer

    [Edited by Hambone on 09-10-2000 at 09:27 PM]
  4. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hey, Hambone! I was gonna say that!
  5. phill gray

    phill gray

    Sep 4, 2000
    i would suggest getting a basic theory text,there are so many good ones,any reputable music store has a large variety.beginning your path towards learning your bass goes beyond just the scale,take a few steps back and look at how those scales come to be,function and co-exist musically,not just as fretboard in canada we have a comprehensive series put out by the royal conservatory,i`m sure there is something similar in the states,the berklee series is great.don`t look for shortcuts,there are`nt any.good luck!!!!
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I have the "Bass Grimoire" suggested by Hambone above, but it can be quite intimidating to a beginner. I about detail...whew! It is probably MORE than you will need for a couple of years. Without knowing just where you stand in terms of experience, I'd suggest a more basic book.

    "Scales and Modes for Bass", Steve Hall and Ron Manus,
    Alfred Publishing Company; $6.95, 48 pages.

    It has both tab and standard notation, plus fretboard charts like the Grimoir, but they are easier to read as the print is larger. The book covers major scales and related modes, minor scales, whole tone and diminished scales, major and minor pentatonic and blues scales.

    Of course it tells you what chords are used with each scale and what styles of music commonly use the scale or mode.

    Working your way through that book will give you plenty of solid background to make your bass lines interesting. Good luck and I think it is admirabble that you want to get a deeper knowledge than just what you can get off the Internet, which is often a little disjointed and out of context. Of course, you can move up to the Bass Grimoire when you feel that what is in this book is no longer adequate or you want to venture into more exotic territory musically.

    Jason Oldsted
  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Some other things you may consider is not just learning the scales, but learning variations of them.

    For example, learn to play them in different positions. If you normally play a "2-4-1-2-4-1-3-4" approach for a major scale, for example, learn to start with a different fingering and span the fretboard differently. Also, try learning it in different octaves, or even multiple octaves. Notice where your fingers are and listen to each note. If you can play a major scale two octaves up then two octaves down, you'll recognize more on the fretboard if you ever have to jump an octave for a riff.

    Another thing you can do is alternate right hand patterns. Try just quarter notes. Then try eighth notes. Then try eighth/quarter/eighth, etc... You can also practice alternating the notes, such as 1-3-2-4-3-5-4-6-5-7-6-8, etc...

    These exercizes will teach you tons about how each scale can be used. Merely learning a scale is deceiving. You have to know how to use them. Otherwise, you're no better off...
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The book I mentioned, "Scales and Modes" by Hall and Manus does have the scales in many positions. For exam[ple, the minor pentatonic scale is shown in five different positions, plus an example of how the minor pentatonic is used is shown in examples from Stanley Clarke and Billy Sheehan. I know it sounds like I'm really sold on this book and I am for beginners. However, harking back to the reference mentioned above, "The Bass Grimoire"...that book also shows many positions for each scale and mode. I don't have it handy, but I believe it also shows some two octave scales too. Jason Oldsted

  9. Thank yee all kindly fer da information! :D

    Next payday I will see about ordering one of these books for my bassucation. Scales and seem like they will we boring and like doing homework,but I guess to really get an understanding of the instrument and basic musical theory it is a necessary evil *sigh* I will make sure that is the first part of my practicing(after warm ups) then go to the fun stuff! lol

    Usul a.k.a. Bill Hosford

    p.s.reading some of your I am blown away!This website is a many talented,seasoned,and
    passionate musicians!I only hope one day I can achieve a level where I can help other newbies....i.e. light the fire under `em!!;)
  10. phill gray

    phill gray

    Sep 4, 2000
    one other point usul,that was`nt mentioned,don`t look at these scales as seperate entities...they`re all connected,whatever book(s)you get make sure it has an graphic description of the circle of 5ths.once you grasp this,you won`t look at each scale as being different,but as part of one entity.
  11. Can anyone give me a break down of the bass grimoire, it's still confusing me? thanks! :D
  12. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Bass Grimoire is a paperweight IMHO.

    Yes, it is a book with diagrams of tons of scales of more flavors than you will likely ever use.
    At a certain point you realize that everything is described as variation of the major scale.
    1000x more valuable is learning the underlying TTSTTTS structure of the major scale
    and forcing your brain through the exercise of translating that 7 note pattern into all 12 major keys, all over your neck.
    when you look at the majors scale as a simple seven note pattern you can easily memorize new scales as variations.

    a major scale uses seven notes
    • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    a natural minor scale differs by the flat 3, flat 6, and flat 7:
    • 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
    A Mixolydian (Domiant 7) scale differs only by a flat 7:
    • 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
    and so on..
    a bit more abstract than fingerboard diagrams, but once grasped it simplifies things dramatic
  14. If you want an ebook there's my Study Book Of Scales available over at
    There's also the free Scale Reference Manual available when you just sign up.

    I know it's a bit of a plug and I don't want to be giving it the big sell for obvious reasons but the Study Book does seem to be the kind of thing you're looking for. It's over 200 pages long and contains every scale in a progressive set of positions from standard, popular 1 octave through 2 octave and eventually through to complete fretboard coverage. There's also big section on the theory of scales and a large section devoted to exercises and practice tips (sequences, running intervals and arpeggios through a scale, improvisation tips etc. etc.)

    The downside is it's not available as a standalone book yet. Just an ebook in PDF format. I'm working on releasing a physical copy.
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    They first part of the book explains how to use it. You need to understand intervals in order to fully utilize the book. Studybass has a good lesson on intervals if the book is not simple enough.
  16. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
  17. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    +1 to Mark's e-book on scales. I especially like that he gives us the Intervallic Construction, i.e. 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7 as being the Dorian scale degrees and the Lydian Augmented scale having the intervallic construction of 1-2-3-#4-#5 -6-7.

    The #4 makes it Lydian and the #5 makes it augmented.... Love being able to see the intervallic construction as I live with the major scale box... and think in 1, 2, 3's
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  18. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
  19. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I'd say that Joel Di Bartolo's "Serious Electric Bass" book might also be a very good choice. It explains scales and their resulting modes, how to practice and use them, plus a lot of other stuff. In my opinion, the contents totally lives up to the title.
  20. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    While browsing in my local library I came across "Bass Guitar Exercises for Dummies" ( more advanced than it's sister book "Bass Guitar for Dummies"). A good book, full of constructive exercises and comes with a CD.

    The only negative is that the tab/notation diagrams are ridiculously small. Nontheless, it is a worthwhile book to check out.