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How to find the right scale ?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lo lio, Oct 6, 2003.


  1. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    I 've found a good bass line and i want to play guitar on it. But how to find the good scale ? The bass notes are A G D E. Thanks.
     
  2. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You mean you've got a bassline and you now want to figure out a lead guitar line to go over the top?

    The best answer is to try the scales you know and, if none of them help, learn some new ones ;)

    The most obvious starting point (to me) would be to try some form of minor pentatonic or blues scale, but use it as an exercise to learn how different scales create different moods and you'll have learnt something valuable about music as well as finding something that fits.

    Wulf
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    If somebody asked me this - I would say the way to find the right scale is to determine what the 3rd and 7th of the current chord are - these characterise the sound of the chord. Then find a scale which also has these same notes - easy!! ;)
     
  4. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    Sorry Bruce i dont really understand what you mean because of my poor english. Can you explain with the "good" words for me ? Thanks a lot
     
  5. Just use the A minor/C major penatonic to start you off. All of those notes are in it. It is E,G,A,C,D.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Which words don't you understand?
     
  7. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    Bruce > i don't understant what you mean with "what the 3rd and 7th of the current chord are - these characterise the sound of the chord. Then find a scale which also has these same notes" Thanks.
    Yes Rob i 've tried A minor/C major penatonic. I ve also tried the D major. It seems to work but the first note of the basse line is A, so normaly it's A minor/C major penatonic, No ?.
    So the only solution to find the right scale is to found the scale with all the notes, Isn't it ?
    Thanks a lot.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Chord = 1,3,5,7 - e.g. root = 1

    Find a scale with the same notes as 3 and 7


    (ED - whoops - corrected 'typo')
     
  9. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    Sorry but i don't understand.
     
  10. I think this is still beynd his comprehension. To advanced.

    Assuming A is the 1

    G is the 7
    D is the 4
    E is the 5

    Does that make any sense to you? Learning the chord structure teaches the individual notes within a chord.

    ;) Treena
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's very hard to judge just on the notes. Even assuming it's just a bass line and there is no other harmonic information to work on, what's the rhythm? Which notes fall at the start and end of the riff? Which ones are emphasised and which ones are 'just passing through'?

    For example, it might work to think of the bass line as running over a two chord vamp: A7 (A = root, G = flat 7) and E7 (D = flat 7 and E = root). Those two chords relate together as root and fifth, and would suggest a bluesy approach.

    Alternatively, the whole thing might have a more esoteric sound, suitable for an E phrygian scale over the top (the same notes as C major but running from E to E... the combination of intervals gives a very 'spanish' sound to the mode). You'd be starting on the fourth note (tension) but then moving through minor third, flat seventh and resolving on the root note, E.

    Any chance of some notation (even tab :eek: :D ) to give a better idea of what's going on?

    Wulf
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think you have to accept that there are limitations to what you can learn via a website like this.

    So - personally, music theory didn't "sink in" for me until I had read many books and taken classes with a teacher for several years.

    You can't get that kind of understanding without a lot of work on your own part and a lot of practical application of the principles.

    We can write and write endless answers - but there's no substitute for working with a teacher, study of textbooks (in language that is clear to you) and a lot of practical application - there are no short-cuts!
     
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  14. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    PHP:
    personallymusic theory didn't "sink in" for me until I had read many books and taken classes with a teacher for several years. 
     
  15. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    sorry, it's a mistake before.
    Bruce i'm totally agree with you. I 've read some books about scales because i think it's important (and it's important). But now i can record my guitar on my basse so questions come.
    So if i want to find the right scale i've got to find the (principals) notes of the basse line in a scale. And try and try... like yesterday.
    Thanks you all.
     
  16. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    and i think that "chord" means "accord" in french.
     
  17. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    So, how are you playing it? Some kind of simple notation would help.

    For example, with q being a quarter note, and pitch being given by C representing the third fret of the A string (, for lower octave, ' for higher octave), one way to play your sequence is:

    qA, qG, qD qE

    However, that's quite different to, say:

    q.A, sG sD hE

    (dotted quarter note, sixteenth and half notes, along with a different shape).

    Wulf
     
  18. lo lio

    lo lio

    Apr 10, 2003
    FRANCE 78930
    Sorry i don't understand. I've got to get a french teacher i think.;)
     
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I'll second that. I find can grasp theory quickly and easily, but then I've always been fairly good with patterns and stuff..

    but, that said, it's not exactly something that you can grasp from scratch from a web site - a teacher really helps!
     
  20. ClarkW

    ClarkW

    Aug 1, 2003
    Provo, UT. USA
    C'est difficile à repondre à ta question parce qu'il faut savoir si chaque accord est mineur ou majeur pour pouvoir bien choisir les notes. Tu dis que les notes sont "A G D E." Bien, ça peut être A mineur, G Majeur, D mineur, E mineur pour être dans la clef de C. Mais aussi, ça peut être A Majeur, G Majeur, D Majeur, E Majeur, dans la clef de A Majeur, type de blues. Tu vois? C'est ton oreille qui te dirait ce qui marche ou non.

    Si tu connais les accords, essais ces deux formes:

    Am, G, Dm, Em

    ou

    A7, G, D7, E7 ou bien A7, A7, D7, E7.