Bass guitar scales give you the information you need to create music. They tell you exactly which notes will work with a certain song. Plus by knowing your scales you’ll also be able to create your own bass lines.
Today I’d like to share with you 5 steps to help you learn your bass scales quickly and easily.
So let’s get going…
1. Forwards and Backwards. Start on the lowest note in the scale and play up to the highest note. Then go backwards from the highest note back to the lowest.
This is the first step in learning any new scale. Be sure to practice the scale this way for a few minutes each day.
2. Move The Scale. Make sure you learn the scale all over the fretboard. One amazing thing about learning a scale pattern is that it can be moved anywhere.
Simply change the starting note and repeat the pattern from there and you have a different bass guitar scale.
The scale will take its name from the note you start the scale on.
Example: If you take the major scale pattern and begin it on a C note, it will be a C major scale. Taking that same pattern and moving it to a F note, will make it an F major scale. This works with any note! So once you know the scale pattern you instantly know the scale in all 12 keys.
3. Reverse The Scale. Play the scale the opposite way you did before. This time start on the highest note and play to the lowest. Then back to the highest note.
Not many people think to start the other end of the scale and to repeat it backwards.
Practicing the scale in reverse will improve your memory of the scale and mix up the order your fingers have to play the notes.
4. Play It On One String. Most people just learn one scale pattern that covers multiple strings.
You should learn how to play your bass scales on just one string. It will expand your knowledge of the fretboard and increase your understanding of where all the notes are.
It can be a little tricky at first and will take some thought.
This might also come in handy if during a show you ever snap a bass string. If you rely on using multiple strings to know your scales you’ll be stuck. Knowing them on just one string will allow you to still know where your note options are.
5. Say The Names of The Notes. Either out loud or in your head say the names of the notes as you play them.
It’s great being able to move the scale patterns about but you need to learn which notes are in each scale.
Saying them as you play them will help you to memorize them better and improve your knowledge of the fretboard.
I hope you found these 5-steps useful. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll have any bass guitar scale memorized in no time!