Dismiss Notice
Join The Good Vibe Zone today, and hangout with the nicest bass community in the world :)

All Bass Guitar Scales

Discussion in 'Music Education - Share your knowledge here!' started by ernybass, May 14, 2019.

  1. ernybass

    ernybass

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello, I would like to open this thread to create a section where we can include all possible scales for the electric bass with the collaboration of all forum members.
    I'm going to start with the most basic:
    SEE HERE more finger positions : Major scale for bass guitar

    major-scale-bass-guitar.png
     
    Florin, DiMarco and jester like this.
  2. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    5,814
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    The major scale. Try to not memorize the shape but the pattern. This will make sense later on when we discuss modes.

    W-W-H-W-W-W-H

    Where W = whole and H = half steps (2 frets and 1 fret up).
     
    jester likes this.
  3. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    5,814
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    The pattern will also help when constructing chords by stacking thirds.
     
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Steve Gregory
    One of my favorite scales to use is sometimes called "dominant diminished", "half/whole diminished", or "octatonic". All you do is start with a half step, then a whole step, then continue to alternate. Many people use it emphasizing its "dark" or "dissonant" qualities, but I prefer another approach. I like to use it to outline a dominant 7th chord. For example, here it is written in "C". Every note in this scale will work over a C7, either as a chord tone, or as an extension/alteration. Check it out:

    Dominant diminished.JPG
     
    DiMarco and jester like this.
  5. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Steve Gregory
    Another good scale for 7th chords is Lydian Dominant. It's another scale with no "avoid notes". Every note in the scale works either as a chord tone or an extension/alteration:

    Lydian Dominant.JPG
     
    DiMarco and jester like this.
  6. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Christchurch Aotearoa
    Lydian Dominant is the 4th mode of Melodic Minor Harmony

    Look at it when applying tritone substitution

    Ie: B4E has written it out as C7(#11)

    Try this chord progression C#m7/ C7(#11)/ Bmaj7//
    Then, C#m7/ F#7/ Bmaj7//
     
    Bassist4Eris likes this.
  7. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Christchurch Aotearoa
    Melodic Minor in C

    I - Cm(maj7)
    R 2 b3 4 5 6 7 W H W W W W W H (octave)

    II - Dorian b2
    This could be a substitute for a Phrygian chord

    R b2 b3 4 5 6 b7 H W W W W H W (octave)
     
  8. ernybass

    ernybass

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    wow.. these scales are very advanced, thanks
     
  9. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    17,654
    Likes Received:
    1,587
    Trophy Points:
    114
    To me it helped the concept of tetrachords, it worth a google search :)
    Each scale is divided in two parts (tetrachords), so having them in muscle memory, and knowing how to play them in all positions and combine them it is pretty useful. (much easier than it looks) :)
     
    Bassist4Eris likes this.
  10. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Christchurch Aotearoa
    B4E talked about the Octotonic (half whole)

    Florin talked about Tetrachords

    I was applying any scale (or mode or chord) to a musical situation

    The VII mode of Melodic Minor Harmony is Diminished Wholetone or Altered Scale ( or in USA Superlocrian)
    B7 alt

    B C D Eb F G A

    Look at the bottom tetrachord. (H W H) . Those 4 notes is what B4E demonstrated.
    Look at the top tetrachord. (W W W). That has to sound Lydian (maj7#11)

    Long story short - play that VII mode of Melodic Minor on a dom7 in a Minor Key. As B4E said its got "good options"
     
  11. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Christchurch Aotearoa
    The Lydian mode is the 4th of Major Diatonic Harmony

    It's a maj7(#11) chord

    Listen to the Police "Every Little Thing is Magic"
    Sting's bassline is IIRC - G A B C#
    ( W W W)
     
  12. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Christchurch Aotearoa
    B4E top example can run the other way

    W H W H W H W H (octave)

    This leads into dimished harmony which sounds a bit jazz but works with funk IME because it's got juicy bits

    Also you can get 4 for the price of 1

    G A Bb C Db Eb E F#
    Bb C Db Eb E F# G A
    Db Eb E F# G A Bb C
    E F# G A Bb C Db Eb
     
  13. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Steve Gregory
    OK, let's get back to basics. Here's good old E pentatonic minor.

    E Pentatonic minor.JPG
    But! There are so many interesting ways to use pentatonic minor, and it seems like a lot of players, even very good ones, only know one or two.

    The most obvious is to use this over an Em chord. The scale is E - G - A - B - D. This gives you the root, minor 3rd, perfect 11th (aka perfect 4th), perfect 5th, and minor 7th: all chord tones or acceptable extensions.

    But if we use the E pentatonic minor scale over an Am chord, those same notes are now the 5th, minor 7th, root, 9th, and 11th of an Am11 chord. Or you can play it over A7, in which case they make it an A9. (Technically A11, but the 11 is traditionally considered an "avoid note" over a chord with a major third. You can use it as a passing tone, but you don't want to hang around on it.)

    Use E pentatonic minor over a Dm chord and those same notes become the 9th, 11th, 5th, 13th, and root of a Dm13 chord. This generally works best on the ii chord. (e.g. a Dm chord in the key of C major).

    Use it over an Fmaj7 chord and the notes become the 7th, 9th, 3rd, #11th, and 13th. This generally works best on the IV chord (an F chord in C major).

    Use it over Cmaj7 and they become the 3rd, 5th, 13th, 7th, and 9th.

    It's fairly well-known that you can use it over an E7, but we do have an "avoid note" here (the 11th). The scale in this case give us: root, #9, 11, 5, b7. In such a case we technically should call that G an F## ("double-sharp") but in practical reality we never do.

    All of which ought to perhaps come with this caveat: this stuff works better in melodies, fills, and solos, as opposed to meat-and-potatoes bass lines. But let's face it: those types of bass lines are better served by focusing on chord tones rather than scales anyway. If we're going to talk scales, we might as well go down the rabbit hole, right? ;)
     
    jester likes this.
  14. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Steve Gregory
    OK, here's the TL;DR version.

    Most people base pentatonic minor scale shapes off of the root note of a minor chord. But try these too:

    The root note of a 7th chord.

    The fifth of a 7th chord.

    The fifth of a minor chord.

    A whole step up from a minor chord.

    The 3rd of a maj7 chord.

    A half-step below a maj7 chord.
     
    jester likes this.
  15. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    5,814
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    Haha this topic sure escalated quickly. I just hope the TS isn't intimidated by the huge amounts of good info stacking up so quickly.
     
  16. Hardy

    Hardy Good Vibe Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,711
    Likes Received:
    2,170
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South-Bassmania
    Are you guys shure we talk about bass playing? :confused:
     
    Toepfer likes this.
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Steve Gregory
    Yeah, we should dial it back a little. This tends to happen on forums when someone posts about theory. Things go a lot deeper than intended and scare people off.

    OTOH, OP did state "all possible scales" was the goal here. ;)

    Another good point. I'm not sure scales are so important to bass lines. To melodies yes, but to bass lines? Find the chord tones and you've got half a scale already. Fill in the blanks with passing tones and you've created the other half of the scale, all while never thinking about scales at all. It's all just chord tones and passing/approach tones to me.
     
    Hardy likes this.
  18. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Steve Gregory
    OK, I'm going to contradict what I just said and post another scale. But no theory. Just one of my favorite scales: the Dorian mode.

    C dorian.JPG
     
    Foal30 likes this.
  19. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    5,814
    Likes Received:
    2,176
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    I spent the last 6mo trying to catch up on theory but have to confess I have had zero need for the matter yet.

    I make up my melodies using vocals, I never know which scales or even notes I sing until I accompany it with an instrument and work from there. On a guitar I keep trying different chords I know the shape of and it becomes a song.

    So here's a bold statement:

    In rock music you don't need ANY knowledge of scales. Musicallity is something you're born with.
     
  20. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    288
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Christchurch Aotearoa
    The Dorian mode is the II chord of Major Diatonic Harmony

    Where can we hear this?

    Maybe try "So What" from the freakishly great Miles Davis album " Kind of Blue"
     
Loading...