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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by leelee, Aug 30, 2000.

  1. leelee


    Aug 30, 2000
    I am just learning bass and am a bit confused with my scales. I know how to play them all no worries but, I don't know what to do with them, how to use them in solos etc...
  2. Try starting to learn some songs, any songs that you like, and start looking for where the bassists on those songs use scales, such as going from one chord to another. Eventually, you'll start to see how it all fits together.

    Remember, scales aren't songs, and music is songs. All scales are are arrangements of notes we like to hear together in song form. That's not to say that learning scales is important, IT IS. Knowing them will help you navigate your way around quickly and easily when playing or learning songs. Practicing them will make playing them much more fluid and easy.

    But, you should look at scales (and arpeggios, etcetera) as tools: hammers, saws, whatnot. If all you do is practice them, all you're doing is taking your tools out of the box and polishing them, then putting them back. You gotta BUILD something with them to get good use out of them. First learn how others do it, figure out songs you like, preferably by ear (ear training is another extremely valuable skill). Figure out how that other person built that box, picture frame, or whatever. Then you can start to see how to use the tools to build your own box, or bird house, or whatever it is you wish to build. Eventually you can get to the mansion building stage hopefully....I'm still working on that one :). Good luck.
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I was going through some of the really old threads and thought that this would be a good one for our newer members who are learning scales or already know them but cant quite figure out how to apply them so I bumped it up. Its a good read!
  4. I would like to learn scales....but I am too :confused:
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    What exactly are you confused about with scales? This is definatly the forum to seek help with issues like these.
  6. thats it...I don't get any of it... none at all. I tried to learn some from this site,but I just am a :confused: when I start...

  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Hang in there, Im trying to think of a really really simplistic way to explain scales to you, when I can think of it I'll chime back in.
  8. thanks...

    wow,whata nice guy:)

  9. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003

    That site have lessons that goes through some basic music theory and I think that it will help you to get a better understanding.
  10. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Osama - have you read Jazbo's scale primer?


    It starts off very basic but provides a lot of great information... it might be just what you need. Read it slow and understand every word - if you hit a spot you don't understand post about it here in the GI forum. I appologize if you've already read the article, but from the sound of your post I'm guessing you have not...
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Sorry Osama, I have failed :(

    I cant think of any easy way to explain it. Without confusing you. If you were here in front of me with bass in hand it wouldnt be a problem. Any way my good friend is typing up a post as we speak that can hopefully simplifiy it for you and help lessen any confusion you have.
  12. hey guys i know its been a while since anyone around here has seen me, but i was informed my help might be needed at this forum by a fellow bassist. im sure the site above has all of this in much more professional terms but this is a quick fix for ya.

    heres the basics- a scale consists of 8 notes. this is the pattern of intervals- (W= a whole step, H= a half step)
    W W H W W W H
    - so for a basic scale, take C, the notes are
    C D E F G A B C
    this pattern applies to any and all keys.

    now when you want to apply the scale to music, especially when you're looking at chord changes (think improvisation), the name of the chord will tell you exactly what scales go along with it, and therefore the notes that will fit into the music.
    a chord is made out of the principle parts of the scale- the root (the first note), the third (3rd note), the fifth (5th), and in jazz generally the seventh (one before the top of the scale). jazz can get even more confusing in adding 9s, 13s, 11s, etc but we won't get into that.
    the name of the chord determines the scale to be used for its structure, in our case we'll use C.

    so if we want to create a C major (major meaning nothing done to it- no sharps or flats added), we use the root, 3rd, and 5th.
    C E G
    in jazz, the seventh is added, so in a C major chord it becomes
    C E G B
    the chord name C7 implies a flatted seventh, making the chord "dominant"- just a phrase used in the jazz world to describe the quality of the chord.
    C E G Bb
    in order to make a chord "minor", the 3rd is flatted as well. this is another distinct sound that is dark and somewhat dissonant.
    C Eb G Bb
    The term diminished is used for chords with a b7, b3, and b5.
    C Eb Gb Bb
    An augmented chord sharps the 5th and flats nothing.
    C E G# B

    To figure out where scales come into play, you must figure out what key you are put into with the different chords. This is called the "mode" of the scale.
    for example: in a Cmajor chord, CEGB, no sharps or flats puts you in the key of C. In a C7, the one flat puts you into F. For major, use the C scale. for dominant, use F.

    there is so much more, this is just to get you started. my email is sonatina6287@hotmail.com . if you have questions, i'll be glad to help.

  13. hrmm...I only know standard notation...is this a problem?
  14. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    No, I'm sure that's not a problem.

    I don't even understand why you would ask that question :confused: if you click the link I provided you'll see a little bit of standard notation, but mostly just words...no tabs at all, I think even though you "only know standard notation" you should be able to read it just fine.

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