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Scale and Arpeggio Complete List

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lethifold, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Hey there all

    Recently, after years of not bothering, I decided to learn a little musical theory to help compliment my playing, more so that I had more instant compatability with musicians who played in different styles. So I decided to learn scales and arpeggios, which are quite useful. To save me logging onto www.basstabs.net every day and picking off random scales, I decided to make my spreadsheet which would show a scale and every possible position of it (on a 4 string bass)
    Thanks to the aforementioned website, I think I have managed to find every single scale and arpeggio and all of their positions (12 for each), including which scale is compatible with which chord (for guitar purposes)

    The coding is not fantastically neat, and is not meant to be as I have been doing this in a hurry and have not had time to tidy it up

    Also, I accept that there are likely to be one or two mistakes, in which case I would appreciate if someone could rectify them so that I can update the database

    If I get good feedback from this primitive system, I may develop it into a standalone application that can be distributed via the web for anyone wanting to have a complete dictionary of scales and arpeggios

    Any feedback would be value and I hope that you enjoy it

    The adress for download is www.essenceofcomedy.com/bass/scales.zip

    Have fun :)
  2. vic_6


    Dec 19, 2004
    Manila, Philippines
    that's freakin cool. must've taken you a long while to make that! great work man. thanks :)
  3. PinkFloydDan


    Jul 4, 2005
    sweet! having trouble figuring out how the fretboard is supposed to be viewed though.
  4. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Nice job! You have created a very handy tool. Thanks for sharing it with us. I only looked at a few of the more common scales and everything looks good.

  5. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    The thing that took the longest was copying and pasting the relevant 'if' formulas for the scales section. Once that was done it was just a matter of copying whole sections and putting in the scale and arpeggio lists

    I have updated the spreadsheet with a brief user guide of how the fretboard should be viewed

    The scale viewer can still be found at www.essenceofcomedy.com/bass/scales.zip and I will continue to update it if anyone finds any mistakes or just generally to make the thing look nicer

    If anyone has any suggestions please give them to me and I can work on making the thing a lot better to use :)
  6. very nice.. congratulations, that must have been a lot of work!

    you asked for suggestions, so here are some ideas:

    - instead of using X's for every scale degree apart from the root, i think it would be more benificial to actually see the scale degrees in the neck template. not sure how hard this would be to do!
    - maybe number the frets for the different positions, i'm still kinda confused by that bit..
    - not sure if this is a good suggestion, but i think it would be cooler if the arpeggios went up to the 13th, instead of the 7th.

    all those suggestions probably equate to hours and hours of work, so feel free to ignore them!

    all the best,

    ps. had a cool idea just as i was about to post! i think what would make this document really great would be if you could select a mode or scale in a particular key. say, ionion in C. then all the associated major modes jumped up in the different positions (ie. dorian, phrygian, lydian etc). because, basically, thats where modes come from. to me, it's kinda pointless in having the ionian mode from 12 different positions..
    eh, maybe not, feel free to shoot me down.. :)
  7. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Thanks for all of the suggestions :)

    1/ I have considered doing this and it won't be hard to do, it will just be quite time consuming. As I am working quite a bit at the moment, I really don't have time to sit down for hours at a time to change things. However, as luck would have it, I am off work tomorrow, so I will almost certainly get round to incorporating something like this

    2/ I still don't get what you mean by numbering the frets. To me, the program just shows the scale around an arbitary root, which can then be placed anywhere on the whole fretboard

    3/ Having little music knowledge, I don't really understand this

    4/ Again, I'm not so sure as to what exactly you mean by this. To me, having arbitary roots made it easy to play the same scale with a different root note, with the rote note being relative to the current scale being used

    Thanks for all your points, though if you could explain points 2-4 (3 and 4 in particular) it would be very much appreciated

    -Joe :)
  8. hey joe,

    1/ i just had another look at the spreadsheet and it seems i jumped the gun a bit, shoulda really checked out what was going on! i thought you had done the mode and then written the scale from every position for the first 12 frets. sorry about that!
    2/ see above
    3/ what i meant was doing the arpeggios to the 9th, 11th and 13th degrees of the scale, instead of just the 7th. in hindsight, this may be more than you wanted. i guess its a little more advanced? i'm sure you'll find some info on it if you search the web.
    4/ i guess you can scrap this one as well. i was on a completely different tangent there.

    so.. seeing as i was off with the fairies for most of that last post, how about this.. on the scale selection side, when you select a scale it'd be great if the arpeggio of the scale was highlighed. i do this in freehand for my students - i write out the major modes and then go through with a highlighter and highlight the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th degree of the scale. this may give a better understanding of the scale and how it functions over the chord.

    phew.. i'm spent..

    good luck! and sorry if i didn't explain anything very well, i just got back from a particularly tiring session.

    all the best,
  9. quatre03


    Aug 20, 2004
    thats great an all, but its wrong. the scale degrees are off, the names are wong, and the board charts arent positioned correctly.

    If you need help with it contact me i'd be more than happy to work it out with you.
  10. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    qautre3 apart from the fact that I used b6 instead of 5#, I can't see what I have done wrong with the scales, everything seems to be fine to me. That is of course, I have made many transcription errors or www.basstabs.net has their scales and arpeggios listed incorrectly. If you would like to send me a list of explicit examples then I would be happy to sit down and correct them

    and bass349 I do plan on installing an option to view the scale with it's relevant degrees as well as just the positions from the arbitary root. When I do get around to doing this, I will change the way the arpeggios are displayed (in terms of degrees) as an extra option
    As for the highlighting of the arpeggios notes when the scale is selected, I think that I should probably get some more information on that before I do it. Does every scale have arpeggio notes? If so- how can they be calculated?
    That is a change that I can make in the long term, but it will definately take quite a while to install, but if you could answer the above two questions then that would be really great

    Thanks for the feedback, I should have an updated version within 24 hours

  11. One is that a diminished 7 chord is not 1 b3 b5 6, it's 1 b3 b5 bb7.

    Another is that you sometimes use flats where sharps are needed. For example, in the Lydian #9 scale, you have R b3 3 b5 5 6 7, when the b3 should be #2 and the b5 should be #4. You have to remember that when writing out scales, with rare exceptions (such as the blues scale), you generally won't have the same degree repeating (i.e., you shouldn't usually have two 5's or two 3's in a row). The same mistake is made in the Lydian augmented scale, which should have #4 and #5 in place of b5 and b6.

    I didn't check the whole thing, though, so there may be other concerns.
  12. groove100


    Jan 22, 2005
    it'll be sweeter if this is done in notation style too
  13. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Richard Lindsey thank you for your reply, however, I won't be acting upon your advice. In my mind, as long as it shows me where to put my hand on the fretboard to be playing in the same scale, it has achieved it's objective. Granted, it means that I won't understand the scale as well... but it will help with what I wanted it to do- give me an idea of scale shapes

    and groove100 I was going to make that change today. However, a late night with my girlfriend, a sleepy day and an annoying change to my travel arrangements to Italy meant that I haven't had any time to work on it. This will definately be done another time, almost certainly over the weekend
  14. So, you don't really appreciate corrections after all? I'm sorry, but I don't get the point of explicitly asking for corrections and then ignoring them when you get them. The things I pointed out were not matters of preference, like to-may-to versus to-mah-to, they were real errors.

    Forgive me, but wasn't *part* of the point of posting this here presumably to develop something that might help other people? If what you posted gives you what you need, fine, but why put it out there for public view with known errors in it? And if, as you say, you were considering developing it into a standalone application for distribution via the web, then you don't really help anyone by knowingly distributing wrong information, when it could so easily be made right.
  15. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY

    I agree with you 100%; however, I have run into this so many times in theory books or jazz arrangements. There seems to be a conflict between ease of reading and theoretical correctness. I'm not sure which side of the fence to go. I guess it depends on the intended purpose.

  16. Yeah, I think it does depend on intended purpose to a degree. Since, as you know, a diminished 7 can function as a 7b9 chord without the root, I think the temptation is often great to write it as if that's what it is. For example, an F#dim7 could, and often does, easily resolve to a Gm, and that's because the voices move pretty much as if it were a D7b9 without the root. If you write that chord F#-A-C-Eb, that works either way, and everybody's happy.

    But if you want the same resolution of a diminished chord to Gm and want a root movement of A to G, thus writing Adim7 to Gm, you have a potential writing problem. Technically, an Adim7 should be A-C-Eb-Gb, but nobody's going to write it that way when it resolves to a Gm--they're going to want the leading tone, F#, moving to the G. So you either write it the incorrect way to clarify the voice leading, or you adopt some needlessly complicated solution like calling it an F#dim7/A.

    No great answers here, but I do think that in a scale/chord dictionary, the information should be technically correct. The fuzzy areas can be dealt with later in practical applications.
  17. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Well said. I'm off the fence.

  18. quatre03


    Aug 20, 2004
    1) in some of your scales you have a b5 and a 5 when it should be a #4 and 5.
    2) you have a Lydian b7 scale and you have another scale down the list that is the exact same scale.
    3) this just proves that 70% of tabs are bogus.

    I'm not trying to burn you on this one, simply trying to help you out. i think these sheets maybe be helpful for many ppl if it gets dialed in, i think you're on to a good thing. Its always best though if you can memorize the scales though, because you're never going to be able to whip out your chart when you're soloing in a live context.

    good luck cant wait to see it