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chord arpeggio's Questions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kalo, Apr 20, 2005.


  1. kalo

    kalo

    Jul 29, 2003
    Hi all,

    I was just wondering if someone can help clarrify something for me...

    I now scales are important, but I am wondering if Chord Tones/Arpeggio's are even more important to practice...
    R, 3, 5, b7, etc.

    Being that a bass players job is to play over chord changes I never understood why some bass player only practice scales...

    Questions:

    Isn't it more important to practice the chord tones?

    Do you all look at your fretboard as chord or scale degrees rather then the actual notes...Meaning do you all think in terms of C, E, G, Bb or rather R, 3, 5, b7?

    When learning to play bass is it better to start learning scales and chord arpeggio's then after learn songs? Or rather just start learning songs right away?

    Thanks, Kalo!
     
  2. Mr.Phil

    Mr.Phil

    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I would say that depends on what you're looking to do. Its great to learn theory, it will help you improv, but chord arpegiation is really only good for blues... Try learning songs and figuring out how the bass player built them. It'll give you a better understanding.
     
  3. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I mean no offense, but IMO you're posing the question the wrong way. There's no either/or about it. You don't have to, and in fact shouldn't, try to choose between those two things. Learn both; they're both valid and useful ways of processing musical material. One is not more important than the other. And they're not even really separate anyway; chord tones and scales are intimately related.
     
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Right.
     
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Wrong.
     
  6. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    It is beneficial to know both. The arpeggios are directly derived from the scales. Knowing the note names are important. Naming the notes "R, 3, 5, b7" is a way to analyze what you are playing and can help you transpose what you are playing into other keys. In short; yes, it is important to practice the chord tones. Songs are made up of chords, which are derived from scales, which outline chords, which come from scales that outline chords...

    Practice your scales, your arpeggios, AND learn lots of tunes :)

    Joe
     
  7. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    This is a quote from Mike Dimin from a "Chords and scales" thread in his forum (6/22/04). You can find a ton of accurate info in Mike's forum. You'll find his forum in "Ask a Pro!"

    Joe
     
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Chords are more important than scales. There I said it. It's more important to be able to hear a chord and be able to discern if it's major, minor, diminished, augmented, suspended, and what kind of extensions have been added to it 7,9,11,13 than to hear and identify a scale. When you harmonize a melody you need to able to determine which chords to use, not which scale to use. How many pieces of music or lead sheets have a scale notated on them? Chords and scales are not separate but knowing the chords, the arpeggios, how they work with the melody and how they move as in a progression is what most music you will ever encounter is all about.
     
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Furthermore, the assumption that knowing the chord means you know what to play just isn't borne out by experience. Suppose you identify a m7 chord. Unless you can hear what's going on in the key/mode/tonality, which means *getting* the scale, you don't know whether to use the aeolian, dorian, phrygian, minor pentatonic, or something else. Sure it's valuable to be able to hear an Em7, but you need also to hear whether somebody's using a C or a C# in playing over it.
     
  10. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    If the sax player is just making something up or playing free or in some modal style what you're saying maybe true, but the odds are that the sax player is playing over some changes which means some chord progression and depending what he's hearing or what his style is you may hear a scaler approach or you may hear a chordal approach or you may hear both.

    In the sense of augmenting the melody so that it sounds richer and fuller. As a bass player you're usually outlining the harmony and the harmony is whatever the progression is of the song that you're playing. Often just playing the roots of the chords makes the sound bigger because the the chords are selected specifically to enhance the sound of the melody. As a bass player you're almost always playing a part of the chord.

    I don't know what you listen to or what you play, but there hasn't been a gig that I've been on that didn't require me to know the changes i.e. the chords, interpret those changes i.e. from a chord chart. Chords and melody go together because the chords are selected because of the melody so that the melody sounds richer and fuller. By and large that is the case with exceptions to everything. So I say to the person wondering where the should spend most of the time I would say a lot more time on chords and less on scales because on most gigs you will encounter that pay that's what you will need to know. You need to know the changes and play the changes.
     
  11. Great - another argument about 'right' notes and 'wrong' notes - please...learning the structural elements of music is about learning everything and anything to do with a chord, a scale and arpeggio - but when all is said and done - they are the same information, arranged in different ways.

    Stylistic variations are what they are - but confusing things by saying certain scales and arpeggios are best suited to a particular style is complete crap... this is a huge area in music because it essentially encompasses ALL music - take it a small chunk at a time and digest it slowly...but whatever you do - learn your scales and arpeggios (which are chord tones) thoroughly - there's NO substitute for knowledge and experience.

    Mike
     
  12. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    But again, this is a false opposition, because it's the same information. And furthermore, unless you play *only* chord tones, which *no* gig I've been on in the last 25 years has required me to do, you *have* to deal with scales. You cannot "play the changes" without dealing with scales, which means dealing with the tonality/modality of the music you're playing. Chords don't exist in isolation from each other; they're always coming from somewhere and going somewhere. If, for example, you're playing a Dm7, and you want a passing tone from the root up to the third, just knowing the chord tones will not tell you whether the tone you want is an E or an Eb.

    I agree 105% that chordal knowledge is essential. But I think it's counterproductive to divorce it from scalar knowledge, or to overemphasize either one at the expense of the other. Again, it's like overemphasizing the heart at the expense of the lungs, or vice versa, when what you really have is an interrelated cardiopulmonary system.
     
  13. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Only in a theoretical world would a person know chord arpeggios and their inversions but not know anything about scales, the notes between the arpeggios. Only in the real world would a person know every scale and every mode but not be able to play or hear a chord arpeggio in any all of its inversions. The notion that if you spend more time on the chord tones you'll forget all about or become deficient in the other notes is ridiculous.

    My answer to the original poster, who obviously doesn't have a handle on the chord arpeggios, is to spend more time on chords, the arpeggios, the inversions and their relationship to the music that he hears.

    You want to frame the argument as either or so that it can seem like you're making a sound argument. I never said study one not the other, I spoke and still speak of importance or priority.
     
  14. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No, I'm not making it either-or. You misunderstand me. I'm disagreeing precisely with your notion of priority or importance, and I'm disagreeing with your theoretical world/real world example, which my own experience does not bear out. I think both are incorrect, that's all. Of course that's just my opinion, just as your post was just your opinion. I don't claim otherwise.

    In the interests of harmony, I intend to leave it at that.:)
     
  15. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'll just give a +1000 to the "both" camp. One of my standard warmups is to play through an entire major scale doing each mode in turn AND playing each chord as an arpeggio.

    Say I pick C major: I play a C major scale (two octaves, I have a 5 string) up and down, then I play a C major arpeggio up and down twice, once with R35R and once with R357. Then I move up to D dorian, play that mode and play a D minor arp (again with and without the 7). I find this locks the sound of the arpeggio into my head with the tonic scale and the mode that accompanies it, which in turn makes it much easier to jump to the right arpeggio/mode combination when I'm jamming.

    I usually do this in 2-3 keys at random each time I pick up my bass, just to get my fingers moving. It helps.
     
  16. sedgdog

    sedgdog

    Jan 26, 2002
    Pasco, WA
  17. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    Like a lot of people said it earlier, it is important to know both and to practice both,because it goes together! A Cmin7 chord for an example, is gonna have always the same notes (C,Eb,G and Bb) but depending on the tonality your in, the scales are gonna be different (DORIAN,PHRYGIAN or AEOLIEN). Yes you can play your basic Minor Pentatonic or Minor Blues scale over the chord but your playing is gonna be much more interesting if you know the right notes in the chord AND in the scale.
    ;)
    SB
     
  18. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    Isn't it more important to practice the chord tones?

    Do you all look at your fretboard as chord or scale degrees rather then the actual notes...Meaning do you all think in terms of C, E, G, Bb or rather R, 3, 5, b7?

    When learning to play bass is it better to start learning scales and chord arpeggio's then after learn songs? Or rather just start learning songs right away?


    I forgot to answer some of your questions!!!
    1) It is important to practice both; your chord tones and the scales. If you know a bit about harmony,you'll find out that there is often more then 1 scale for the same chord tones.
    EX: C Maj7 (C,E,G,B) you actually have two choices of scale to choose from: a major scale with a ferfect fourth and a major scale with a raised fourth. Most of the time there will be only one logical choice. You have to study harmony or be aware of the right sound to your ears.

    2) At first it might help to see chords 1,3,5,7 but eventually it should become notes because we are playing notes not functions. Learn differents positions and fingerings for the same arpegio it might help!

    3) you should learn songs and scales. Within a song, you might eventually start to see the scale(s) on what the harmony of the song is based on and you will feel more confortable with what you hear and what you play and why!

    Hope this will help,
    SB