Soloing / Scales / Long Fingerboard Ways

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by David-Adler, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. David-Adler

    David-Adler Guest

    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany

    I´m getting into soloing more and more, and since my bass instructor isn´t here (he is on tour in Venezuela with is Reggea Band and will afterwords record for the kelly family ;) ) and I need some good help, I thought I could ask here.

    I know several scales (major, minor, frygian, dorian etc., pentatonic) but my problem is that with these scales, I can´t play cool solo parts, and I WANT to do so. Could you give me any help on going larger ways up and down the fretboard, playing harmonics and so on ? Do you know any good exercises for that ?


  2. Zonplayer

    Zonplayer Guest

    Nov 24, 2000
    Madison / Milwaukee
    Have you tried your modes and scales through multiple octaves. Starting on the lowest frets all the way to the top and back. Once you have achieved that. Try doing them as arpeggios. Ascending and decending, as well as different patterns (broken 3rds, 6th etc..) in ALL keys. Make sure you are singing them as you play them to familiarize your mind and ears to their tonal characteristics. And dont forget all the rhythmatic possibilities too!!
    Then the next step is playing them over chords, then over chord progressions. If you have a sampler or recorder start out by recording a basic I, IV, V progression.
    As far as harmonics that is a whole other universe, and a little involved to get into online. There is lots of material on the web if you do a search.
    Check out some videos by John Patitucci, Michael Manring, and Jaco Pastorius. These guys are masters of their instruments and are great composers as well.

    Hope I could help.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    One thing that can help is learning your scales from the lowest note available on your bass to the highest. I think lots of people learn their scales from root to octave and back, and that really doesn't help. You've got to learn your scales in a musical manner. Then learn them starting on every note of the scale. Do the same thing for modes.

    WHat you're actually doing by when you do this, in addition to learning the sound of these scales, is training your ear. And that's what the name of the game is.
  4. Lovebown

    Lovebown Guest

    Jan 6, 2001
    I think one good thing about scales is they make you remember patterns. A lot of guitarists / bassists out there claim to not use patterns but they're lying. Everybody uses patterns and it would be foolish not to. Quite frankly in order to solo good you need to know the patterns in and out and be able to know which note you're about to press down before you do it.

    Unlike on a piano where there are black/white keys to mess everything the bass looks the same all over (frets, frets, frets..and more frets, if you don't play fretless). So the major scale pattern works from all positions on the E and A strings.

    So basically learning all the intervals between the root and the note you've choosen and how they sound is very cruicial to soloing and playing in general.

  5. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    I use patterns as well - it helps me remember the different scales and modes. This reminds me of a debate a few years back in the newsgroup rec.musicmakers.bass where a double bassist was making fun of electric bassists for using patterns - he was boasting that he knew where each note was and that meant he did not need to know or use patterns. Obviously, that didn't go down well at all...
  6. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I read from gary willis to stay away from the scales, I studied this concept and I came up with one that might help you out.

    Learn as many cool licks as you can without worring about scales or chords.

    Once you know how to play the lick fit it songs you already know. Check out with what chords sounds best.

    You can modify the licks to fit your songs, your style or you needs.

    You can start with short liitle licks which are usually the coolest and easiest to fit into your music.

    As soon as you have learned a handful of short licks and how to place them into your music you will be sounding like a cool cat :cool:

    of course, que practicing
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    What is "Frygian"? ;) :D
  8. Zonplayer

    Zonplayer Guest

    Nov 24, 2000
    Madison / Milwaukee
    I tend to stay away from 'licks' for the most part. I find them to constitute mostly short repetitive passages. Plus I feel they are limiting. Licks are fun to learn, but dont rely on them. Learn as much music as you possibly can. I find it is more interesting (to my ears anyway) to play a combo of scales, arpeggios, chords, patterns, and licks. I feel it keeps soloing exciting!!
  9. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Licks are just a starting point. Soloing can be a life long learning proccess. I find now that I have to un-learn a lot of the scales, arpeggios that I have memorized through out the years to solo creatively. I laugh at most solos of guitarist I play with, they are so predictable. Great soloist must of the time don't think about scales etc.

    The 3 things I find most important in developing solo skills are.

    1) You have to be able to pick up your instrumement and play beautiful musical licks when you are playing by yourself. Regardless of chord changes, tone, scales etc. You should be to sit and improvise nice melodies on your own.

    2) Your Ear, you should train until you are able to hear chord changes and licks in you head. Eventually you will be able to play some of the things you hear. This proccess is acomplished through hours of playing, getting to know your instrument, and listening to all kinds of music and soloist

    3) I shure helps to know where your are on the fretboard at each moment. I you do 1 and 2 enough this will become second nature.

    my 2 cents
  10. Zonplayer

    Zonplayer Guest

    Nov 24, 2000
    Madison / Milwaukee
    Exactly!! I find that most musicians' music today is predictable and mediocre at best. Scales are nothing more than a language unto which we as musicians can communicate to other musicians, a standardization if you will. They are merely a platform in which creativity can be built.