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Unread 04-29-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
jubjub
 
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Question bass

can anyone help me? i want to know more about bass scales. if anyone can help thanks. and if y'all know anything to help me get better at moving around the frets that would be great to.

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Unread 04-30-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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How much experience do you have? Do you know what scales and keys are?
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Unread 05-01-2010, 08:05 PM   #3
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iv been playin bass for about 3 years. i know very little about scales. i dont know much about the scales keys. i know the notes on the frets not much more than that.
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Unread 05-01-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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Ok, I'm pulling most of this off the top of my head so I apologize for any mistakes. Also I'm assuming a four string bass in E A D G tuning.

What I'm about to show you is some basic scale stuff. This by no means covers all the complexities of different scales, but it'll give you a really good start and you'll know more than most people.

This is your basic G major scale:

G|----------------------------------------2---4---5----|
D|--------------------------2---4---5------------------|
A|------------2---3---5--------------------------------|
E|--3---5----------------------------------------------|

As you may or may not know, from the 3 on the e-string to the 5 on the d-string is one octave. Both of those are a G, so the g-major scale is really only from the 3 on the e-string to the 4 on the d-string. After that it just repeats an octave higher. So you're playing G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C.

Again I'm not sure how much you know, but the distance from one fret to the next fret up is a half step and the distance from one fret to two frets away is a whole step. A major scale starts with a root note (G, in this case) and consists of a whole step, then a whole step, then a half step, then a whole step, then a whole step, then a whole step, then a half step, at which point you will be an octave above the root note and you can repeat the pattern.

Ex.
These are all the notes from G to the G an octave higher. Bolded are the notes in the G major scale.

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

Because every single major scale is the same pattern, you can take the above pattern and move it up and down the neck to play a major scale in any key. A C-major for example would be as follows.

G|--------------------------------------------7---9---10----|
D|----------------------------7---9---10--------------------|
A|-------------7---8---10------------------------------------|
E|--8---10---------------------------------------------------|

Notice that this is exactly the same pattern, just played in a different part of the neck. Basically, the note you start on is the key that that scale is in. You now can play a major scale in every key. You're the envy of piano students everywhere.

Ok, so if you're playing a song in G-major, you don't want to be stuck to just one spot on the neck, (or two if you jump up an octave).

There's actually seven different modes of the G-major scale, which will allow you to play in G-major anywhere on the neck.

Look at the following:

G|---------------------------------------------5---7---9---|
D|-------------------------------5---7---9-----------------|
A|-----------------5---7---9-------------------------------|
E|---5---7---8---------------------------------------------|

This can actually be seen as a G-Major scale. It's actually exactly the same notes as before, except you're starting on the second note of the scale rather than the root note. Instead of playing G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C, you're playing A-B-C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E. So while just playing that scale straight up won't sound the same as the first G-major scale, you can use it in a G-major song because it incorporates the exact same notes as the G major scale.

The following are some different scale shapes of G-major.
G|---------------------------------------------2---4---5----|
D|-------------------------------2---4---5------------------|
A|-----------------2---3---5--------------------------------|
E|--(2)--3---5----------------------------------------------|

G|---------------------------------------------5---7---9---|
D|-------------------------------5---7---9-----------------|
A|-----------------5---7---9-------------------------------|
E|---5---7---8---------------------------------------------|

G|--------------------------------------------------7---9---11---|
D|----------------------------------7---9---10-------------------|
A|-------------------7---9---10----------------------------------|
E|---7---8---10--------------------------------------------------|

G|-------------------------------------------------9---11---12----|
D|--------------------------------9---11---12---------------------|
A|---------------9---10---12---------------------------------------|
E|--10---12--------------------------------------------------------|

G|-------------------------------------------------------------12---14---16---|
D|------------------------------------------12---14---16----------------------|
A|-----------------------12---14---15------------------------------------------|
E|---12---14---15--------------------------------------------------------------|

You can mix these up, and combine them to form new shapes but I if I recall correctly, these ones are the simplest and cover every possible note on the G-major scale within an octave on every possible fret. Any of these shapes work exactly the same when played one octave (12 frets) higher (or lower) on the neck. Again, as with the first scale, you can move these to different spots if you're playing in different keys. I'll leave that to you to work out though.

It should also be noted that the last scale shown is an E-minor scale. Any song that's in E-minor can be played using the G-major scale. Basically any minor key uses the same notes as the major key three half steps above. Ex. E-minor = G-Major; A-minor = C-Major; F#-minor = A-major.

Hopefully all this helps and/or makes sense. I hope there's no mistakes in it though I'm sure someone will point them out if there are. There's a TON of stuff that could be added onto my post, but I think what I've given here is a good start, and I'm quite done with giving a theory lesson . So if I were you I would become intimately familiar with those scales I posted, and practice running up and down them in every single key. Like pick, say, "Bb major" and then run through every version of that scale. Then once you've mastered these you come running back for more and I'm sure someone will be willing to feed you delicious morsels on pentatonics, whole-tones, modes, and melodic and harmonic minors. Hope I helped.
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Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. - Stephen Hawking
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Unread 05-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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yeah man thanks!!! i do have a 4 string bass. i will practice them. i know some of what you where talkin about. just one more thing if a scale starts in G will it end in G or what? thats some of whats got me. and again thanks alot for the help.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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Well kinda. There's not really a 'start' or 'end' per se. Look at it as a pattern that repeats over and over. Let's simplify everything to show you what I mean. Pretend there's only 5 different notes: A B C D E.

...(-1A) (-1C) (-1D) (0A) (0C) (0D) (1A) (1C) (1D) (2A) (2C) (2D) (3A) (3C) (3D) (4A) (4C) (4D)...

Pretend this is an A major scale. The A C D pattern repeats over and over again. You could go forever in either direction, left or right. We just say "A C D" is the scale because after that it just repeats.

So the G scale goes ...-G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-... It repeats forever in both directions (technically).

So long answer: no, the G scale does not really start or end at all. When we play scales on an instrument, we usually like to start and end on a G though just because it's 'complete'. You span exactly one octave and it sounds complete.

So short, easy answer: yes, when we play a scale in practise, we tend to start on a G and end on a G or start on a C and end on a C. This is more just cause it sounds more 'complete' that way since you're starting and ending on the same note. On a guitar because I have six strings, I actually play through two octaves so I start on a G, end on the G two octaves above, and then go back down to the starting G.

Hope that helps?
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If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. - Stephen Hawking
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