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Chromatic scale?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by CodyDEM, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. CodyDEM


    Oct 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    For an audition coming up I've been asked to play chromatic scale on bass guitar as part of the audition. What's the best way to go about playing a chromatic scale on bass?
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Well, I'd probably use the same basic fingering pattern / position that I use to play a Major (or minor) scale - only play every step. So, a G chromatic (one octave) would look like this:



  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    And I'd probably use the same pattern I use for a major scale only filling in all the spaces and it'd look like this


    Pretty much 1 finger per fret, with the pinky hitting 4 and 5
  4. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    So, Wrong Robot - Would you play a chromatic scale in G like this:


    Edit - What I really want to know is of you would play a G major like this:

  5. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I would absolutely use 1 finger per fret for a chromatic scale, shifting a half-step at every string change. So fingering-wise, that's:

    1,2,3,4 - shift string and shift hand one fret - 1,2,3,4 - etc.

    This is definitely the best fingering in terms of economy of motion and playabilty.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

  7. RhythmBassist01


    Aug 31, 2005
    Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe has a chromatic phrase in it.
  8. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Why not, since playing it that way will not take a position change to play up to the last D on the G string. That is actually how I learned to play mine.
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Same for me. And it feels very cool to play it that way. Adding the descending scale is even cooler. The whole thing feels like flying on the fingerboard:

  10. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Great picture. That might clarify what I was saying. I really don't think that you can make an argument for the other fingerings suggested here, at least not out of context like this.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    One word-



    I would make sure I could play a chromatic scale on one string, too; keeps a constant position for the plucking hand/fingers.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This was recommended to me as an exercise for Double Bass by a DB teacher - i.e. play a chromatic scale up one string, with seamless (unheard) position shift each time you run out of fingers!
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...maybe you shoulda posted that in the Double Bass Forum.


  14. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Sure, depending on how high up you wanted to run the scale. If you shift down one fret per string you end up a lot lower than if you do five notes per string and shift your index or pinky. Five notes per string really gives the wides range of notes, without really shifting position.
  15. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination

    Dec 30, 2006
    I would shift with the pinky and keep the index in position.
  16. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Ascending Chromatic Scale - one finger per fret, 4 notes per string, descend one fret when changing to the next string.

    Descending Chromatic Scale - One finger per fret, 4 notes per string, ascend one fret when changing to the next string.

    Practice Legato Quarter Notes at a comfortable tempo. Don't be surprised if someone counts you in at a very slow or very fast tempo.
  17. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
    the audition was over four years ago so I hope he was able to figure out the chromatic scale by now.
  18. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Dooohhhh, I never looked. I just saw it come up in New Posts.

    hahahahahahahahahahaha, roflmao
  19. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    This is the only convenient way to do it, I found. I did this for one of my auditions about 4 months ago.
  20. Chris K

    Chris K

    May 3, 2009
    Gorinchem,The Netherlands
    Partner: Otentic Guitars
    Just try to play a chromatic scale over two octaves that way :D