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Position Scales (Vertical)

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by stephanie, Apr 20, 2001.


  1. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi Michael,

    I was wondering if you can help me figure out something:

    At my last lesson my teacher briefly went over position scales and I was just looking over my lesson plan and I have to learn the Bb scale in 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th position.

    I was understanding what my teacher was explaining at the time but now my mind has gone blank on this.

    How would the 1st position be, for example? I know it will start on F, right? But what would the last note be? Would it end on F? Go on to Bb? Would any open strings be played (like A on the A string)?

    And I understand in 3rd postion it would start on G and there will be shift, right? (To me this looks the same as G Jazz Melodic Minor Scale).

    I'm just confused.

    Cheers,

    ~Stephanie
     
  2. When all else fails, cheat.

    [​IMG]

    Made this just for you Steph since I really enjoyed your web site.

    Sorry to butt in, Michael.

    - Dave
     
  3. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hehehee

    Thanks Dave. :)

    Was also wondering here, is there any similarity between these postion scales and modes. I've done a little studying on modes.

    Also, on the 8th position of this Bb scale: is it C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F?...And that's a 1st finger shift on A in 3rd postion there, right?

    (Man, I still get confused when the answer's right in front of me! LOL! :D)

    Thanks so much for your help,

    ~Stephanie
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Stephanie,
    I think your teacher is right on target. From any position you should be able to pick out the notes that belong to a certain scale. It is really good to be able to pick out the notes of any key center from any position on the neck. Each major scale also has 7 modes associated with it. From a key center or tonal center you need to be aware of the key notes of the key center. But the wonderful thing is that the notes exist all over the fretboard in almost every position.

    If I remember correctly, you are working out of Gary Willis' book. This would correlate to what your teacher is working on. Gary's ideas are great and his 4+2 fingering concept works extremely well.

    As for the 3rd position A. It is either a 1st finger stretch on the G string or a pinky stretch on the D string. Depending on the shape of the line that you're creating would dictate which position shift or stretch you would you use.

    Mike
     
  5. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Thanks Mike!

    Yes I am still working out of Gary's book..more like reading right now...trying to get a few things clear in my head. LOL. Actually his '4+2 fingering' is what I've been reading about right now in it..been looking over the diagrams. Yeah, and when my teacher gave me this assignment it did make me think about that book. :)

    I'm beginning to understand the positions now and I guess I was right about modes, right?

    Thanks,

    ~Stephanie
     
  6. The Major scale is a good place to start for learning modes because you learn the relationships between the modes and the 'relative Major'. At some point, though, you should learn the modes as individuals so you can break your reliance on the relative Major. That is, instead of thinking that the Mixolydian mode is just the Major scale starting on the 5th note, you begin to realize that the Mixolydian mode is like the Major scale but with the 7th interval flatted.

    Here's a chart like the other one that shows the intervals associated with all the notes in the Bb Major scale:

    http://www.unpronounceable.com/bflatmajor-intervals.jpg

    The intervals tell you which mode begins where in the Bb Major scale. That is, the 2nd mode, Dorian starts on the 2, the 3rd mode on the 3, etc ...

    Charts like this one also make it easy to see how chords relate to the different scale patterns. Here's another chart example:

    [​IMG]

    With this chart, you can easily visualize how the scale pattern relates to the intervals and also the triad chord tones which are highlighted. The 7th interval is semi-highlighted.

    Knowing what chords fit in what scale pattern, and vice-versa, makes it easy to play chords in the midst of scales, and vice-versa, without having to change positions to go to some known chord or scale position.

    I have gone a bit chart-happy with my web site at http://www.guitar-and-bass.com/ ( sorry, no 4-string charts yet ). I wrote some software that generates these charts really easily.

    My goal is not to rely on the charts but to not have to rely on them. A musician should be able to visualize the charts in their head or at the very least, calculate them on the fly. I believe that it is useful to build the visual link during practice by playing with the charts and then learn to play without them.

    That is not to diminish ( no pun intended ) the importance of learning to read music or figure these out for yourself. It is very important to do both. Once you do have some facility in reading and theory, it is advantageous to have these charts as shortcuts. In my opinion. Of course, I could be totally wrong. ;)

    Michael, I dig your site and book. I may pick it up someday. I have been playing chords for a long time and I think we have a very similar approach. One of the reasons why I got my 7-string was because it opened up more chord possibilites.

    I would be very interested in hearing what you think of the material at my site ( http://www.guitar-and-bass.com/ ). If you feel I am off the mark in my presentation of this material, I'd like to know it. I haven't had much professional feedback but what I have received has been very good.

    - Dave
     
  7. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hehe...thanks again Dave!

    About a year ago, and this was right about when I first started playing the bass, I bought "Mel Bay's Complete Book of Bass Essentials" by Bunny Brunel. Bought it cuz it had a lot of pages and the title intrgued me. I had no idea the whole book was basically modes! LOL. I was so confused at first by the content, but I'm starting to get the jist of it now. And when I started taking lessons and my teacher went over modes (using the C major scale,etc.) I was like, "yeah, I think I know this". :) And it came back to modes when I started learning more scales like the Dominant 7th scale being Mixolydian, etc. And it's the same now with position scales.

    LOL. Seems like you can't get away from modes, eh? :)

    Cheers,

    ~Stephanie
     
  8. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    At first, it is essential to learn the major scales and all the modes. The symmetry of the fretboard allows us to transpose fingerings and therefore our ability to play through the scales and modes becomes rote. We need to be careful that we do not allow ourselves to thing of the major scale or any of the modes as just one fingering pattern (2,4,1,2,4,1,3,4). Instead we must train ourselves to know the fingering patterns for each scale or mode for every position that you are in. We then start to see the beauty of the subtle differences between different modes - we see the notes that remain constant from one chord change or tonal center to the next. We also see the chromatic alterations that happen when we change from chord to chord or to a new tonal center.

    For example, when i am soloing over
    "Footprints" (a C min blues in 3/4), there is a subtle change from an A to an Ab when the chords change from C- to F-, all the other notes in both scales are the same. Therefore, I am not changing positions at all, as I solo from chord to chord, but I do make sure to accent the A to Ab change, melodically.

    Mike