# Modes/scales question relating to the 12 note patterns...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Steve Harris Is, Dec 12, 2005.

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1. ### Steve Harris Is

Jul 4, 2005
I'm about 7 months into bass playing and I am starting to focus on learning more theory as opposed to just learing tunes. I have picked up the "Bass Grimoire" which has lots of useful information but I am stumped on this one area:

They have a section on modes where they go through each Key Signature and the seven "modes" that correspond with them(Ionian, Dorian, etc...) but the "fingering patterns" they show are 12 notes, not the usual 8(octave to octave) I am used to from other sources. I can see that these 8 note scales exist within these 12 note patterns but my question is, why 12 notes and what do they signify? Is it called a "12 note scale"? Should I learn these fingering patterns in addition to the basic 8 (along with pentatonic) I have memorized?

Any/all help appreciated as usual..

2. ### Steve Harris Is

Jul 4, 2005
No thoughts/ideas on this one? Someone must have that book besides me...

3. ### lemur821

May 4, 2004
St. Louis, MO, U.S.
They probably just want to show as much of the scale as will fit on the neck in each position. So you know where the notes in the next octave are.

4. ### ii-v

Mar 27, 2005
SLC, UT
1.) It gets you using four strings in a fixed position.
2.) The Grimoire diagrams would be difficult to do in two octave form without being several more pages and dollars.

I believe those to be two of the reasons. Food for thought would be to learn two octave scales on a four string and three octave on a five string. This will get you comfortable with shifting. Also the diagonal scales you can build helps with shifting as well. See Adam Nitti's site for an explanation about diagonal scales.

Diatonic scales are possible in three octaves (24 frets) C-G
Parallel Scales you can learn seven church modes in three octaves and additional scales as well. Man I am tired someone please correct me if I am wrong.

5. ### BassChuck

Nov 15, 2005
Cincinnati
When I first started out giging, I got a lot of jazz gigs with musicians that were twice my age, or more. I learned a lot.

At the time I had completed 2 years of a music degree, so I had 2 years of music theory and could play all the major and minor scales and all the modes starting on any note. I was getting a general idea about improvising, but was not confident in that yet.

One of the trumpet players in the band was a wonderful soloist and played a seemingly original solo every time he played. I asked him about scales and chords and how he planned his solos etc etc. He just looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. I kept after him and eventually he said, "sometimes I don't even know what key I'm in. I just play a melody that fits the song".

And there you have it. Get in touch with yourself enough to know what sounds good to you and what is useful within a style. Sadly, its always easier to get in touch with an Eb Hypo-Mixolydian scale than it is to really know how to respond to and create music that we feel is good.

6. ### Steve Harris Is

Jul 4, 2005
I guess what I am mainly confused on is that I am used to "8 note" scales and Pentatonic scales and the like and these 12 note patterns confuse me because I don't understand what they represent fully. I am going to take another look at them and see if, for instance, when I find a scale within the 12 notes that I am used to playing, say the normal C-C 8 notes in Ionian, if at the end of that scale the next four notes and back into the beginning 4 of the pattern represent another "version" of that same scale.

Ahh, music theory...someone please just kick me in the nuts and let's call it a day.

7. ### Sippy

Aug 1, 2005
Stuart,Florida
I could be wrong.. so somebody please correct me. But on any given piece of fingerboard there are more than one scales available. I believe the book is just showing you, which scales are available for you to use in that area. For example. In the area of the C scale When starting on the A string If you just move up to the E string, you are playing a G scale. I think that is what they are doing there saying "This is the C scale, but right above it is the G scale"

8. ### Steve Harris Is

Jul 4, 2005
I just got a message from my Bass teacher, who by the way is the coolest guy around (Pat Pfeiffer, Bass for Dummies author) and he cleared it up for me. Essentially just the 12 notes available to play in the scale range. He mentioned focusing on the 8 note(octave to octave) scales from his book becasue the "Bass Grimore" gets into stuff that is more complex and often unnecessary in the scope of composing/playing basic grooves. Great reference to have though, no doubt.

Thanks for the replies.

9. ### Sippy

Aug 1, 2005
Stuart,Florida
I concur

10. ### ninefingerbass

Jul 29, 2005
Honolulu, HI
I have had the book for quite sometime and was always wondering this was about as well. Well it didn't take me too long for me to figure it out. When you play a scale you usually start at a given note and end on that same note. Well what this book is trying to show you is that you can play the same scale with the same notes but not starting on that actual root note. Get it. If not here you are.

Let's start easy.
C scale consist of- C D E F G A B C (root to root)
You can play the C scale starting in F and ending in F therefore playing all the notes in the C scale not starting on C. You play through all four strings and playing all the notes in that scale from top to bottom and not limiting yourself to the three, two or one string for most people. Now you get it.

11. ### Hookus

Oct 2, 2005
Austin, TX
Most people who don't know better play a major scale like this:

-----------------
----------2-4-5--
----2-3-5--------
3-5--------------

Which, I'm assuming is how you learned it. The "best" fingering pattern for a major scale, IMO, and how the BG teaches it, is:

------------------4-5-7-
------------4-5-7-------
------3-5-7-------------
3-5-7-------------------

Thesed 12 notes are all the notes of the G Maj Scale (Ionian)you can play in one position. This is a vastly superior way to learn scales, learn ALL the notes you can play in a single position.

Hope that helps.

12. ### ninefingerbass

Jul 29, 2005
Honolulu, HI
i just said that

13. ### Richard Lindsey

Mar 25, 2000
SF Bay Area
I don't think there really is a "best" way of practicing a major scale. IMO if you let yourself get tied to one way of doing it, you limit yourself. I think it's better if you do *both* of the above (the first can be extended, BTW), and as many more fingerings as are feasible. The bottom line is, your goal isn't to be able to play a scale. Your goal is to have an intimate familiarity with all the notes on the fingerboard, and to have multiple ways of getting at them.

14. ### tim99Supporting Member

Jan 28, 2003

There are three different major scale patterns.

None is any better than another.

First finger Major scale

|-----|--O--|----|-----|-----|
|--O--|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|
|----|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|

Second finger Major scale

|--O--|-----|--O--|----|-----|
|--O--|--O--|-----|--O--|-----|
|-----|----|-----|--O--|-----|

Fourth finger Major scale

|--O--|----|-----|-----|-----|
|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|-----|
|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|--O--|
|-----|-----|-----|-----|----|

15. ### tim99Supporting Member

Jan 28, 2003
And there are seven mode scales based on the major scale.

Ionian mode scale

|---|-O-|--|---|-O-|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|-O-|
|--|---|-O-|---|-O-|

Dorian mode scale

|-O-|---|--|---|-O-|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|-O-|
|--|---|-O-|-O-|---|

Phrygian mode scale

|-O-|---|--|-O-|---|
|-O-|---|-O-|-O-|---|
|--|-O-|---|-O-|---|

Lydian mode scale

|---|-O-|--|---|-O-|---|
|---|-O-|-O-|---|-O-|---|
|--|---|-O-|---|-O-|---|

Mixolydian mode scale

|-O-|---|--|---|-O-|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|-O-|
|--|---|-O-|---|-O-|

Aeolian mode scale

|-O-|---|--|---|-O-|
|-O-|---|-O-|-O-|---|
|--|---|-O-|-O-|---|

Locrian mode scale

|-O-|---|--|-O-|---|
|-O-|-O-|---|-O-|---|
|--|-O-|---|-O-|---|

16. ### tim99Supporting Member

Jan 28, 2003
Your teacher should teach you all 12 patterns of the Major scale and should not fill you with opinions as to if one is better than the other or if those who use one or the other are educated or not. Lots of tools are handy to have. Great players do not learn one way or the other, they learn all ways, and decide for themselves when to use each as the situation warrants.

Major Scale, Close Fingering, Form 7/1:

|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|
|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|
|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|
|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|
|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|
|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|

Major Scale, Close Fingering, Form 2:

|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|
|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|
|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|
|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|
|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|
|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|

Major Scale, Close Fingering, Form 3/4:

|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|
|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|
|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|
|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|
|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|
|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|

Major Scale, Close Fingering, Form 5:

|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|
|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|
|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|
|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|
|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|
|-----|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|

Major Scale, Close Fingering, Form 6:

|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|
|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|
|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|
|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|
|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|
|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|

|/////////////////////////////|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 1

|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|
|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|
|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|
|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|
|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|
|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 2

|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|
|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|
|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|
|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|
|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|
|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 3

|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|
|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|
|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|
|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|
|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|
|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 4

|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|
|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|
|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|
|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|
|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|
|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 5

|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|
|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|
|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|
|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|
|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|
|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 6

|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|
|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|--6--|
|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|
|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|
|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|
|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|

Major Scale, Spread Fingering, Form 7

|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|
|--5--|-----|--6--|-----|--7--|
|--2--|-----|--3--|--4--|-----|
|--6--|-----|--7--|--1--|-----|
|--3--|--4--|-----|--5--|-----|
|--7--|--1--|-----|--2--|-----|

Please note that you can play any mode scale out of any of the above fingering patterns, just by changing the numbering.

17. ### tim99Supporting Member

Jan 28, 2003
I think that many string instrument players actually learn to use modes as "grips" like a guitar player learns to use chord positions. These players incorrectly think that they are playing modes. They are, but they are not. If you know what I mean. Because of the visual nature of the stringed instrument fingerboard, and the long distances we jump from posiiton to position, we can use the concept of a mode to get our hands in the right place and then play the correct notes. But, if we where a horn player, and had direct access to note sounds by just pressing a simple combination of three valves, would we be thinking modes, or would we simply be concerned with the blanket scale tones, the chord tones, the target notes, and approach notes?

18. ### lemur821

May 4, 2004
St. Louis, MO, U.S.
It is much easier to think notes on a horn. At the same time, it's harder to do patterns like modes, since you've got to get it all straight in your head. I don't play to many horn solos, so I can't speak for the effect that has on them.

19. ### Hookus

Oct 2, 2005
Austin, TX
Tim, all you are doing is listing patterns for different modes, just starting them with the root note. I looks like you are getting all these from a book which is drastically overcomplicating things. There is absolutely no need to learn it that way, all you need to do is learn all seven modes, and be conscious of where the root pops up in it.

20. ### Aaron Saunders

Apr 27, 2002
Ontario
Not really, he's just posting all the different fingerings, since you seem content to post both incomplete and flat-out wrong information.