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Help constructing two- or more-octave scales

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by hoodrow, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. hoodrow


    Mar 7, 2009
    Hello! I've lurked this forum for a long time and finally came up with a question I couldn't find the answer to by simply searching older threads.

    I'm relatively new to bass (been playing for about a year and a half) and am having a lot of trouble figuring out how to construct two-octave scales. I understand the idea - taking the root at the end and connecting it to another octave while hitting all the right notes in between - but I can't get it to work in practice.

    Right now I'm working on expanding C Major into multiple octaves and it is driving me crazy. I always end working across three strings instead of four and can't seem to find a good way up or down the fretboard without it having terrible intonation.

    Can anyone link me to any online resources or tel me any secrets? Any help would be greatly apprecciated :)
  2. Where are you starting the scale. There's a bunch of different combinations, but the best approaches would be starting on the C on the E string (8h fret)

    try something like

       i  i  r  p  i  i  r  p  p   i  m  p  i  r  p 
  3. bassistgook


    Feb 5, 2009
    If you look at your scales you will notice after a few notes you get back to the root note just an octave higher. If you wanted to do things the easy you could play the scale then before you reach the octave move your hand up an octave and just do the scale over again. If you wanna get better work on your modes. Different modes are just playing the same scale from different positions on the fret board. You will be starting from a different note but still playing the same scale and in the same key. Hope this helps.
  4. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    This is something I need to work on as well, so it got me thinking...

    First, work on a one-octave C-major scale on the A-string only, 3rd to 15th fret, up and down. When that is comfortable, play the scale using the open D-string as the second note and work up that string to the 10th fret and back down. Then keep shifting the point at which you shift strings (E, then F, then G, etc.), the point being to learn multiple ways to play the scale.

    Repeat the process adding in the G-string at different points in the scale to get up to the second octave. And, of course, work in the E string and play the sale down to the open E. Keep track of where you are in the scale, if the next note is a whole or half step up or down, and where that note would be on a different string.

    Make sense?
  5. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    You might also want to try the fingering that Jaco advocated in this video (at around 2:35):

    I've been practicing scales and arpeggios with this fingering. It's slower at first, of course, but it's really much more versatile for multi-octave playing in one area of the fretboard. Plus you can slide your index finger from the 7th up to the octave and you're in perfect position to play scale up the next octave with the same fingering.

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