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Playing in a paticular key?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    A buddy came over the other day who is professional guitar player. He started jamming and told me to pick up my bass and play with him in the key of D. I was totally lost!!! It was embarrasing. I know where the D is, and I started doing some scales in D but he was all over the neck. I play in a rock band so I don't have an opportunity to jam and play that way. I really enjoy jazz, blues, R&B, and funk which is the style he plays.

    My question is how do you approach playing in paticular key? Also what are some of the best ways to make the transition from repetitive rock riff music to the other styles of music?
  2. First you need to learn how to play a basic 12 bar blues. In "D" you would play 4 bars of the "I" chord (D), 2 bars of the IV chord (G), 2 bars of the I chord (D again), 1 bar of the V chord (A), 1 bar of the IV (G) chord) and finish with 2 bars of the I (D) chord.

    Start learning (if you don't already know) the Major, Minor, and Pentatonic scales.

    Use the appropriate scale for each chord....... if the chord is D major use that scale, etc. Use basic chord/scale arpeggios (sp) the 1st, 3d, and 5th scale degrees will always work. Spice up the rythyms, quarter notes always work, but you can mix 'em up too.As your ear inproves you can add other scale tones to the mix.

    Concentrate on laying down a solid groove! :bassist:

    This is, of course, just a starting point, but it will get you headed in the "right" direction. :cool:
  3. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    What I do is work of one string only. So if the key is D Major, I just stay on on the A string and work up and down that string using the major scale pattern. I also play the root and octave all the time. This is useful for creating fills and grooves on the fly.
  4. lazyi


    Feb 14, 2005
    Hong Kong
    Learn the Theory and all will be revealed.

    I just started learning some theory, I found it very helpful for writing songs on the bass.

    Song Key defines what is coming next. If you know the key you can play relevant bass scale. or quickly pick up what chords the guitar player is playing.

    that is not to say the the key can change mid song - but for jamming you will stay in a particular key most likely