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Learning Scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lilcrate, Oct 22, 2013.


  1. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    I'm pretty new to playing bass, and music in general. I have been learning some common scales. I stumbled upon this site.

    http://www.musicopedia.com/scales/4-bass.php

    I had no idea there were this many scales! How do I know which ones are pertinent? Surely not many people could know all of these scales right? The list is huge and many have "sub-scales".
     
  2. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    They are all pertinent, and are used in different harmonic situations. That's a cool little app, but it's a lot to take in all at once. It made more sense for me to understand why certain scales are used over certain chords in specific scenarios. It also made more sense written out with notes rather than showing a bass neck with color coding like that. That momentarily had me perplexed (and I have a music degree!), so I understand how it looks like a lot to take in!
     
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    As a beginner you only need two types scales under your fingers, the major scale and the natural minor scale. Start there and understand them before moving on to other ideas. :)
     
  4. That certainly covers a lot of ground!
     
  5. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I would recommend pentatonic (major and minor) first, and then the mixolydian mode (major scale starting on the 5th) so you can play blues based music.
     
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    More ground than many appreciate, the foundation theory as well as the developing of strength, fretting and plucking skills will keep a player occupied for months, and on through the years they will keep coming back to this info is some form or another in all the new ideas they will learn regardless of genre.

    If they just decide to never go any further than this basic foundation then they will find it will again stand them in good stead. :)
     
  7. I agree that the major and natural minor scale will keep you busy for a long time. Here is how I do them:

    Bass Patterns based upon the Major Scale box.

    Major Scale Box.
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string

    Want the C major scale? Find a C note on the 3rd or 4th string. Place the box's R over than C note then let the pattern place the correct notes under your fingers.

    C Major scale at the 4th string 8th fret.
    G Major scale at the 4th string 3rd fret.
    A Major scale at the 4th string 5th fret.

    Place the box and let the box give you the correct notes.

    Scale spelling.
    • Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
    • Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
    • Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
    • Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
    • Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.

    Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.

    Very long story made very short. Major scale used for up beat happy songs. Natural minor scale used for minor sounding, some say, sad songs.

    I play Country and Praise. We have over 200 songs in our gig book only one of them is in a minor key.

    Get your major scale flowing, then take on the major pentatonic. Major pentatonic gives you three chord tones and two safe passing notes. Want to fake a solo? Play the chord's major pentatonic notes. Yes if it is a minor chord then play the minor pentatonic notes.

    Have fun. We gotta do our scales so our fingers know where the notes are on the fretboard and our ears recognize the good notes from the bad notes.

    Have fun.
     
  8. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I don't think I've ever seen it summed up so well in such a short post. This should be stickied.
     
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    That's the beauty of it, what Malcolm posted is the building blocks, its short and to the point, but what you can create with it would fill a books a hundred times over if applied with imagination. :)
     
  10. Malcolm, another excellent post. lilcrate... once you get used to these patterns, and the actual intervals in the steps of the scale, they'll literally be at your fingertips all over the neck, in all situations.
     
  11. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    Thanks a lot for your input guys!
     

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