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Major scale / Minor Scale & root note relationship

Discussion in 'Ask David Overthrow' started by dsmysterysix, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. dsmysterysix


    Nov 17, 2009
    Hi, have a simple question that most (all?!?!) music books dance around or vaguely deal with.

    I understand that a major scale has its relative minor scale (C major / A minor) and that they share all the same notes. The reason songs sound different is because they have different root notes - right? Which causes all the chords to be different.

    How do you determine what a root note is? How do you know you are playing C major or A minor? Please explain this like you are talking to a 10 year old - no jargon please.

    What are the best books out there that are TRULY step-by-step, with loads of real world examples of applying scales, chords, etc., to songs or guitar playing to help a bassist put together bass lines get a grip on harmonizing?

    I've read "beginner" books that skip over too much and assume too much knowledge.

  2. [DEL]

    Each major scale contains seven scales known as the major scale modes. The natural minor scale, or Aeolian mode is located on the 6th degree of the major scale. If you play a C major scale starting on C and ending on C it is the C Ionian mode or C major scale. Each scale is a sequence of half steps and whole steps. The major scale has a half steps between the 3-4 and 7-8 scale degrees. If you play a C major scale starting on (A) and ending on (A) you are playing an A Aeolian (natural minor) scale. The same notes as C major but the half steps are between the 2-3 and 6-7 scale degrees therefore the scale has a different sound.

    Major scales can be played over major chords and a natural minor scale can be used to play over minor chords (as well as dorian and other scale choices).

    This is a shameless plug but I authored the "Complete Electric Bass Method published by Alfred in 3 volumes - Beginning-Intermediate and Mastering. The beginning and Intermediate books would be beneficial to you as they would be a great resource for you to learn how to create bass lines over chord changes using chord tones and scales (ie. major and minor ) in a variety of styles. The books teach you not only how to construct the chords and scales but just as importantly the thought process in how to create from simple to more complex bass lines. Learn not only the theory, but how to play construct bass lines with it.

    You can find the Complete Electric Bass Method series (beginning, Intermediate, Mastering) as well as any of my other books on any website from elderly Books to Amazon but hear is a link you can find them:


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