How to Play Scales on Bass Guitar

Scales are some of the most important building blocks for any instrument. They tell you which notes are most important in any given context. Later, you’ll learn about the other notes. As always, however, we have to start at

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Minor Pentatonic Scale for Bass Guitar

The minor pentatonic scale is one of the most important scales to learn if you want to play modern music. Everything from the Blues forward uses this one. No matter what music you hope to play, you’ll need to have this one down pat. Continue reading

Alternate Fingering for Minor Pentatonic Scale for Bass Guitar

Continuing our discussion about minor pentatonic scales, let’s look at an alternate fingering.

Previously, I demonstrated the basic “Rock Box” fingering I learned when I was a teenager. And while that fingering pattern is the basis for the bulk of my playing, this second fingering is important to know, so that you’ll have more than one way to approach this scale. In addition, knowing this pattern will make it easier to discuss the theory behind this scale in future lessons. Continue reading

Major Pentatonic Scale for Bass Guitar

The Major Pentatonic Scale is one of the most important scales in modern music. Many classic bass lines are crafted using this scale. Below you will find video clips for the following keys: E (high and low positions), A and

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Major Scale on Bass Guitar

Here’s the basic pattern for playing a major scale on the bass guitar in E. This video shows you the fingering pattern to use when playing any major scale that does not involve an open string. (In other words, most

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How to Play Major Scales in Groups of 3 or 4

Here’s another way to practice your scales that will help you learn them better and more quickly. As I mentioned in the last scale exercise lesson, it’s a good idea to practice your scales in as many different ways as

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How to Play a Major Scale in Thirds

Most of the time, beginners – and even more advanced players – play their scales in a linear fashion. (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C) While that’s a great starting point, your study of a scale shouldn’t end there. Instead, it’s better to play the

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Bass of the Hills Turtorial

The Mixolydian scale is one of the most-used scales in modern music. Basically, it’s a major scale with a dominant (or flat) seventh. This tutorial looks at how I use the Mixolydian scale in my solo piece, Bass of the

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The Melodic Minor Modes

The Melodic Minor scale is one of my favorite scales. It’s also one of the most important scales on which to learn to improvise, because some of the most important chords in Jazz come directly from the modes of the Melodic Minor scale. In this lesson we’ll break down the Melodic Minor modes and their corresponding 7th chords. Continue reading

How to Learn Any Scale

I see a lot of Bass players of all levels who struggle with their instrument. Even those with otherwise impressive skills can get lost in the upper registers, struggling to find the desired notes. This is often because they don’t know the fretboard as well as they should – or could, with some dedicated practice. Thoroughly learning the fretboard is what this lesson is about. Continue reading

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