# Help me out pleace, I need to get better

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by Bad Brains, Mar 2, 2005.

Jan 7, 2004
Detroit, michigan
I'm trying to better myself because I feel I am stuck in one of those ruts. I try playing with people, but the guitarist always asked me what "key" I want to play in. I havn't a clue what this means, and no one has been able to give me an explaniation without confusing me to death.

I don't like playing with people because someone always asks me this, and I just say forget it, and put the bass down.

Anyways someone told me it's just a scale and the notes played on the scale (?). I found this website with tons of different scales, but they are all played in a "key of C".

Anyone know where I can find scales for different keys, like A,b,d,e ect ect?? I'm getting bored with playing in C, and I can't find anything about this anywhere online. This stuff is confusing.

2. ### The_Ryst

Feb 21, 2005
Goldsboro / Raleigh NC
The key is learning the PATTERN for the scale. Google around for Major and Minor patterns. That'll be a start...

3. ### FreeSpirit

Jul 12, 2004
Brampton, Ontario
Here, i'll try to keep this simple.

The "key" a song is in refers to how many sharps or flats are in its scale.

Here is a little chart i use, i have it posted all over, i have one taped to the top of my bass head, one in each of my cases, in all my diffrent music binders/books and so on.

Flats Sharps
C 0 C
F 1 G
Bb 2 D
Eb 3 A
Ab 4 E
Db 5 B
Gb 6 F#
Cb 7 C#

So reading the chart is easy; you find what key they say to play in, then whatever number is beside it(0-7) that is how many flats or sharps are in that key signature.

The order of sharps and flats(what sharps and ach key signature) is easy to remember, Starts going forwards for sharps and backwards for flats(you'll understand in a minute what that means.)

F C G D A E B

An easy rhyme to rember the order is Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle for sharps. the Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles Father for flats.

So here it is in final with each key signiture and which sharps and flats are in each:

Sharps:
0-C: no sharps
1-G: F
2-D: F+C
3-A: F+C+G
4-E: F+C+G+D
5-B: F+C+G+D+A
6-F#: F+C+G+D+A+E
7-C#: F+C+G+D+A+E+B

Flats:
0-C: no flats
1-F: B
2-Bb: B+E
3-Eb: B+E+A
4-Ab: B+E+A+D
5-Db: B+E+A+D+G
6-Gb: B+E+A+D+G+C
7-Cb: B+E+A+D+G+C+F

I hope this helps, if you need any more help leave a message or private message me and i'll get back to you. or i'm sure someone else could help you, maybee even more then me.

Kyle

Jan 7, 2004
Detroit, michigan
See once again I am completly lost. Probably 30 people have tried explaining this to be over the past 6 months and it seems to bounce right off me.

Going down the fretboard (foward) is a sharp, and going up the fretboard (backwards) is a flat?

0-7 are the diffent keys you can play in, with the correct number of sharps and flats added to a scale you want to play?

The strings go G-D-A-E, so which string do I play the flats & sharps on? I don't have a F-C-or B string, so i'm also lost there too.

Also where on the Fretboard do you start?

Thanks for what you have given me regardless. I have frustrated many people trying to get this, and I have been frustrating myself ever since I started practicing (seriously practicing) because I seem to be too stupid to understand something that seems so simple to everyone else who plays.

Maybe I need a instructor to sit down with me and go over this with me in person (i'd probaby frustrate them too). I don't really need bass lessons, I need "Key" lessons. If I ever understand this I think I could do alright.

5. ### PunkerTrav

Jul 18, 2001
There are lots of great books that can help you out. I think a book, or better yet a teacher, will be easier for you to learn from than an internet forum. There are tons of great information here, but to develop the bassics, there are more efficient methods.

Go to your local music store and look for a book about scales and key signatures. I can't think of any examples off the top of me head, but I'm sure somebody here will be able to recommend you a good one.

Workign through these slowly with a teacher is the ideal way to learn them and be able to apply the concepts, but if you can't get a teacher for whatever reason, a book will be a good starting place. Especially if you have other musicians around you to help you out.

Good luck to you,
Travis

EDIT: I think a method book would be good, because they will show you where to play the notes as well as the names.

Mar 4, 2005
Dallas, TX
7. ### reiver1

Oct 31, 2004
Jacksonville, Florida
See if this helps:

There are 12 keys, each made up of a scale of 8 notes .

your strings are E A D G from top down as you look at them with the bass strappped on.

Find 3rd fret on the A string....that's C.
Play a C scale by playing these:
C=3rd fret, A string-first finger
D-5th fret, A string-4th finger
E=2nd fret, D string-1st finger
F=3rd fret, D string-2nd finger
G=5th fret, D string-4th finger
A=2nd fret, G string-1st finger
B=4th fret, G string-3rd fiinger
C=5th fret, G string-4th finger (this is the Octave or 8th note where the scale starts over)

notice the fingering pattern:
first, fourth
first, second, fourth
first, third, fourth
That pattern works for any number of scales.
Tell your buds you want to play in C and use the scale above to work out your licks

If you want to play in the key of G, start the pattern on G (third fret, E string) and follow the pattern

You can play scales in any key using this one pattern. Just find the root note(the note the scale is named for) They may not be the most efficient fingering, but they'll get you started while you find a basic bass book that shows this in print.

No go forth and make music

PS, it's OK to IM me for more detail.

8. ### cb56

Jul 2, 2000
Central Illinois
How old are you? If you are still young enough to be in high school, take advatage of the music programs even if it means playing triangle in the school band. If you are older than that, I'd say it's time for a music theory course at your area junior college.
This has to be my first post in the tab forum.

Feb 17, 2005
Pimlico, UK
10. ### travatron4000

Dec 27, 2000
Chicago, IL
It seems to me that you need to know your fingerboard better before you try to deal with keys and scales. You need to understand the very basics of music. Get a book, get a teacher. Do you know all 12 pitches and where they are on the finger board? if not search or just ask, i'm sure there's a good chard out there somewhere. Like here. http://www.visionmusic.com/lessons/bassneck.html

Jan 7, 2004
Detroit, michigan
The pathetic part is....I have been playing about 2 years now. I have put many 4 hours+ of practice days in as well. I'm just too stupid to learn music or something. I really can't explain why this stuff dosn't make any sense to me, how is it possible for me to be playing as much as I do and still not have any idea what i'm doing?

Argggg frustration!!! I will just continue to play alone in my room as a hobby I guess. No jamming with other people for me.

12. ### maverick

Mar 8, 2005
London England

Jan 7, 2004
Detroit, michigan

Jan 7, 2004
Detroit, michigan
This is true. When I first started playing, it was more just for fun, to kill some time. If I would have known then I would be serious about playing now, I would have sought lessons. I might actually be good now!

15. ### maverick

Mar 8, 2005
London England
the schools i'm talking about are here in England. my kid is learning sax and thats the way they teach in the music department now. it seems to work too. i just went to a schools concert and it was great to see all these kids making music. they also learn all the fundementals but the idea is to get the kids ears tuned in first then add the rest. i'm not saying which way is best, just different ways work with different people. lessons for BB could help to bring everything together.

16. ### jusaplaya

Dec 14, 2004
Houston, TX
Get a teacher and an decent book. Better yet, take a beginning piano course. It is all laid out in front of you on the piano. If you can visualize it on akeyboard it may help you on the fretboard. That is what I kind of rely on. It was about 30 years ago that I took piano lessons, but they have proven invaluable in the year or so I have been playin bass.

17. ### WoodseyGuest

i agree with jusaplaya, piano lessons all those years ago really helped build the fundimentals for me. Once you understand the way scales and keys work on a piano, it's easy to transfer them to bass, infact, because the same pattern can be shifted around the fretboard, its actually easier.

w

Mar 8, 2005
Blackburn, UK
There's an excellent article right here on TB! Just click on 'Articles' and 'Intro to Scale and Chord Theory'.

I'm just starting out and it's one of the clearest explanations of basic music theory I've read

Go Jazzbo!

19. ### xpcapox

Nov 19, 2004
www.activebass.com
go to basics.
scale finder:
note on left is the key,the right is what kind of scale.