Scale practice, one of the things most of us dislike doing.
From the very beginning, we are taught to play scales up and down our fretboard. Usually, starting with the major scale (Ionian) and once the basic shape is under our fingers, we move on to the minor scale (Aeolian) and then we are told to find the same shape across the fretboard and practice it in different octaves.
For too long I was a “victim” of thinking that I was making progress by running scales up and down for hours, yet when the time came to actually make music, everything that I practiced just disappeared. I couldn’t find the notes, nor make any phrase that made any sense musically. No wonder it was that way, I was getting good and running scales up and down, but not at making music.
I want to propose a different way to practice scales and modes, especially for us a bass players.
Instead of doing this:
Try building a bass line that includes the “key notes” of a particular scale, those notes that give the “color” and “character of the scale”.
Here are some examples I created using D major as a tonal center. There are two examples for each scale to show some variety and different ways to approach each scale. I’ve also highlighted in red the “character notes” of each one. However, I’ll leave it up to you to find out what function each notes has its particular scale.
Listen to the first example of each mode here:
I hope you find this useful.
Until next time,