1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Question about the scales

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MOR_Lio, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. MOR_Lio


    Sep 9, 2004
    Hi everyone,

    I am starting to learn the different scales, and to do so I started with the Major Scale. Rigt now I am working on the Major Scale C. But on are there as many major scale as there are notes? I mean, I have heard about the Major G, but is there also the Majors A,B,D,E,F?? And what about the F#, B#, C#...etc?
  2. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
  3. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi MOR_Lio,

    Well, let's familiarize yourself with how a major scale is formed:

    A scale is constructed by a series of half and whole steps. For a major scale it would go: whole - whole - half - whole - whole- whole - half. So you can start on any note (C...G...F#..whatever) and use that pattern and you will have your scale.


    C Major = C D E F G A B C
    G Major = G A B C D E F# G
    F# Major - F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#

    There are 15 major scales (C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C#, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb). You will come across scales, for example like F# Major/Gb major. These are enharmonics (sound the same but spelled differently. You'd be using F# going around the Circle of 5ths, Gb going the other way using the Circle of 4ths, but more on that later...).

    So maybe for now you might want to figure out how they are all constructed.

    Hope this helps.
  4. MOR_Lio


    Sep 9, 2004
    Thanks a lot for this valuable help! I am wanting to learn the scales, but I am aware that it represents a lot of work. I think I am already going to spend a lot of time learning the Major...
    But I guess it is worth it.

    PS:"The eyes without face", interesting phrase... and in French(==>my native language :cool: )
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    On bass, once you learn a scale in one key, meaning that you learn it without using open strings, you know that scale in every key. Just start from a different fret.

    For instance, you're learning C Major. The root note, C, is the third fret on the A string. Move your hand two frets up so that you play the same pattern starting on the D (5th fret on A string). Now you're playing D Major.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    A pattern for major scales that my first bass coach taught me is this:

    Start with any root note and let your fingers lay over 4 successive frets on the fretboard. Your ifingering is 2 - 4 (where your index finger is 1 and your pinky is 4). Move to the next string and it's 1 - 2 - 4. Move to the third string, and it's 1 - 3 - 4.

    That's "the pattern"
  7. Hmmmmmm I would not like you to forget the minor scales aswell.... (i personally like them better) :p
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    While this is true, it is also the path to the dark side. It encourages you to NOT know what it is that you're playing, other than a pattern. It's easy at first, frustrating later. Trust me on this.
  10. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    Beginning Scales - using code tags to preserve formatting.
    To start, these are the notes on a 5-string fretboard in the key of C.
    Everything repeats 12 frets higher.
    G +-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+---+
    D +-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+
    A +-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+
    E +-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+
    B +-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+
        0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
    Grabbing a section from C to (shining) C we can view how a major scale is 
    constructed. My first inclination is to grab a section from the B string, 
    however, to avoid alienating the 4-string players, I will use the A string.
    G +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    D +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    A +---+---+---+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+-F-+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+---+
    E +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    B +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
        0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
    Since 2 frets represents a whole tone and 1 fret is equivalent to a semi-tone,
    the major scale is constructed using these steps:
    	in tones between notes: W - W - H - W - W - W - H
    	by frets between notes: 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 1
    Using this model, we can construct major scales starting in any of the 12
    remaining keys. For example, to construct a G-major, we start on G and move
    through our pattern.
    G +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    D +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    A +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    E +---+---+---+-G-+---+-X-+---+-X-+-X-+---+-X-+---+-X-+---+-X-+-X-+---+---+
    B +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
        0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
    We now use our knowledge of the fretboard (or a chart) to fill out the 
    note names.
    G +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    D +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    A +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
    E +---+---+---+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+---+
    B +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
        0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
    And back to our chart, we can use these notes to populate the entire fretboard.
    G +-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+---+
    D +-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+
    A +-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+
    E +-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+-A-+
    B +-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+---+-F#+-G-+---+-A-+---+-B-+-C-+---+-D-+---+-E-+
        0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
    The remaining 10 major scales are left as an excercise for the reader.
  11. Kevjmyers


    Dec 10, 2004
    Boulder. CO

    Fretboard knowledge...GOOD
  12. haythamehab


    Dec 10, 2004
    They wouldn't have existed if the major weren't there
  13. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Oh, I agree, long term. But there's nothing like that first rush of excitement when that concept "clicks" and the whole neck begins to open up.

    When teaching someone (not that I am a regular instructor) I start with the "patterns" to make the neck less intimidating, but over the long term, I focus on intervals, not patterns.