Do you ever watch someone playing guitar and wonder how they do it? When you have never done this it looks like rocket science but you wonder how someone seems able to do it with their eyes closed.
The issue lies in them understanding one of the most important aspects of playing guitar; bass guitar scales.
We have created this article to provide basic information to anyone interested in understanding how to play guitar. We start off by looking at what a scales are.
Then we spend some time in the article discussing the difference between scales and codes, the relationship between scales and the theory of music, and how you can start learning these scales.
What Are Scales?
To understand scales, you will first need to understand chords. So, let’s start by looking at the concept of chords. Chords can be thought of as words in a language. If a person needs to learn to say, Mum, Dad, Yes in the early stages, a musician has to learn the chords, C, D, and G.
There are 7 notes used to make up the musical alphabet. These are A-B-C-D-E-F-G. Depending on the key, scales can use sharps or flats. Scales can have varying notes.
While some can have just 5, others can have as many as 12. Scales are based on what is known as a root note. This determines the key that the musician is in.
While it is good and nice to know the basic words in a language, soon there is need to know other intricate terms. In music, this is where the concept of scales comes in.
The scales form the alphabet you eventually use to play the guitar. Knowing how to deal with scales allows the guitar player to play around with the rhythm.
When the guitar player understands scales, they can now comprehend the relationship which exists between different notes. This will lead to an appreciation of other relationships that exists between chords and how these can be used to set a mood.
Good songwriting and composition depend on this. Knowledge of scales is what separates good soloists who understand different melodies from those who do not. A person who knows scales in and out has essentially mastered the guitar.
Why You Need To Learn Scales?
As a musician, it is important that you learn the scales because they form the foundation when it comes to the construction of music. Whether the scale is minor, pentatonic, major, or dominant, you can take advantage of its structure to create various sets of chords.
If there is any harmony in the music played on the guitar, we must thank the scales. Musicians who know how to identify the scales from which chords have been constructed can easily compose melodies using that chord.
This is the reason why scales knowledge is generally considered a facilitator for composition.
Bass Guitar Scales and Theory
There are a number of great bass guitarists who have never learned music theory and there are many who have learned music theory who will never be great bass guitarists. The advantage of getting the theory is that when you learn how to play scales the process becomes faster.
So, if you are asking whether you really have to learn music theory in order to understand scales on a base guitar, the answer in no. However, learning the theory will give you a head start. It will also improve your creativity while playing the bass guitar.
Learning How to Play Scales on A Base Guitar
The process of learning about scales in a base guitar can take a long time. However, if you start with the easiest parts, the rest will fall into place easily. You will need to learn first how scales work over the chords.
Learning the basic scale successfully will motivate you to remain interested.
There are a few mistakes which you must watch out for when playing a base guitar. The biggest of these mistakes is when you are impatient.
You need to understand that this is a time-consuming process and you need to invest the right amount of time to learning. Lack of patience makes many people learning scales on a bass guitar end up playing too much and doing this too fast.
Some learners also make the mistake of learning just songs. Knowing how to play a given song does not make you a bass guitar pro.
It is a limited way of learning about the instrument in particular and music in general. Each song should be an opportunity to learn other things apart from an individual song.
The Basic Rock Scale
Even though the minor pentatonic scale, can be utilized in all types of music, in is most popular in the rock and roll genre. It is one of the easiest scales to learn.
Once you have learned how to play on this scale, you will only be able to perfect your skill through practice. The practice involves a lot of repetition.
When practicing, also ensure that you are doing this correctly. You wouldn’t want to spend hours upon hours only to discover that you have been doing things wrongly.
Remember to start slowly as speed will come naturally as you master the craft. Attempting to go too fast before you have mastered the art well enough will make you develop bad habits that will later be difficult to unlearn.
Once you have mastered how to manipulate the scales in a bass guitar, you will soon realize the endless possibilities that this instrument can offer you as a musician. You will soon realize that even though the process of learning can be time consuming and hard at times, the effort you put into it will be worthwhile.
When the process is not approached well, it can lead to frustration, and lead you to give up. Ensure that there is variety in your learning, listen to yourself when you play, exercise patience, and do not expect yourself to know too many things too soon.