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Posts: 498
The C major scale contains all of the notes that are in the C major key. That is C, D, E, F, G, A and B (there are no sharps/flats in C major, making it easier to talk about when discussing theory).

A C major chord has the C, E and G from the C major scale. That's the root, third and fifth in the C major scale.

A D minor chord is also in the key of C major. D, F, and A. That's the second, fourth and sixth in the C major scale - same pattern to play as the C major chord, just moved up a full step (2 frets)

Here's a link that does a good job explaining this (also using C major):

Posts: 189
Purplez, What do you mean i can play a whole key from that one scale ?

Yes. form the C major scale and you will get:

Move the same shape up 2 frets and you get:

Move onto the thickest string 3rd fret Gmajor, up two frets Amajor.
And so on.
This one of the great things about bass.
Posts: 142
Great thread.
i think im getting this. ive read these over and over. im now freely plucking away at a scal up and down he neck for maybe half an hour at a time( driving the wife nuts).

whats next guys?
Posts: 189
Learn the five pentatonic shapes going up and coming back down.

They are pretty easy to learn.
If you go to talkingbass.net there is a free download book of scales, from practical ones to weird ones. I like the Phrygian dominant scale,weird sound..
Posts: 189

Also this did a lot for me when I was starting out, it is a lot more musical to play with than just running up and down scales & is likely less antagonising to wives.?
Purple Z, i just had a shot at this tab, sounds nice but can you explain how it is in 3rds also i noticed a comment below the tab saying you could also do it in 6th and 7's ?? i find this really confusing ?
Posts: 189
Purple Z, i just had a shot at this tab, sounds nice but can you explain how it is in 3rds also i noticed a comment below the tab saying you could also do it in 6th and 7's ?? i find this really confusing ?

Take the scale of G. GABCDEF#G
Count three notes up from G you get B, so the third of G is B.
Take the note A, the 3rd of A is C, note D 3rd would be F# and so on.
So all it really means is three notes from your root note and you are ascending then descending the scale root note to 3rd note.

Back to G again, the 6th note of G is E.. the 7th is F#
all you would do is replace the thirds with 6ths or 7ths or whatever notes you like?

A very common bass thing is the root fifth movement
so if your root(main chord note) is G the fifth note would be D

hope this clears it up for you?
ok im starting to get the logic but im struggling to relate it to anything.

so 6th note of a g scale is E fair enough but when and why does that help me play music?
Posts: 498
A LOT of music is formulated something like this:

1 measure of G major
1 measure of C major
2 measures of D major
Repeat and repeat and repeat.
(I IV V V formula in G major)

It would be a bit boring to play just the root notes of those chords over and over and over. So what else can you do that will fit in with the chord structure?

Instead of (just quarter notes here, | is the measure break)

|G G G G |C C C C |D D D D |D D D D |

You can do:

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

That's just going root, third, fifth, third for each chord in the progression. You could go to the 6th or 7th instead of back to the third. Or change it up more and do root, fifth, 8th(octave), third.

If you've seen the movie “Back to the Future”, when Marty McFly starts playing Johnny B Goode, he tells the band “This is a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes and try to keep up.” He's told them everything they need to know. Key of B, blues chord progression.

Here's a good write-up on 12 bar blues (blues progression): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-bar_blues

And here's what they do with it:

Yes, I know it's a movie, but it's a realistic scenario.

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