A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Blues Scale

So wifey has to work 1/2 a day today. They have to do that every few months on a Saturday. I dropped her off and came home half-asleep. After feeding the cats, I decided to grab the bass and get in a few mins of practice before I pass out again.

Last night, before bed, I read some more of Bass Guitar for Dummies. I went through the chapters on playing with a drummer, soloing and creating fills. It was basically chapters 6 & 7. Somewhere in the soloing and fills parts, it discussed more scales. Only, these weren’t 8-note scales. They only have 6 notes. The first is the Blues Scale, then comes the Minor Pentatonic and finally the Major Pentatonic.

I need to read through it again, but I did some warm up exercises again, chromatic runs, forward and backward, in a position, across each string, starting at the 9th fret and working backwards. Unless I’m getting the terminology all wrong, that should mean that I did 1-2-3-4 and then 4-3-2-1 on each string starting at the 9th fret. Each time I reached back where I started, I moved back 2 frets (to the next dotted fret) and did it again, until I got to the 1st fret. I did this 5 times.

Anyway. When I was done, I messed around on the bass for a few mins, because I realize that I never do that. I’m usually going through a lesson. I did some stuff using the first 6 notes of the minor scale, and then I was like, lets try some of that stuff I was reading last night. So, I flipped open the Dummies book, went into it and tried out the Blues Scale.

I love it.

I realized right off the bat that this is what Black Sabbath used in a bunch of their songs. Both forward, and backward. They added a few passing notes to the scale, of course, but I almost crapped my pants when I realized what the Dummies book had just given to me.

I know that I haven’t gotten into it at all yet on the blog, but up until I got the Hal Leonard book and have been going through the lessons and teaching myself to read, I had gotten up to scales in the Dummies book. I found that I really like the minor scale a lot, and this blues scale is freaking great too. 😉

Starting on the E or A string (so you have 3 strings available) its just the following fingers, from low string to high (thick to thin) in any position:
string 1: 1 – 4
string 2: 1 – 2 – 3
string 3: 1 – 3

I messed around mostly starting on the 7th and 9th frets, but that pattern can be taken all over the bass, just like any other scale. Remember, “position” just means that you have each of your 4 fingers assigned to a consecutive fret, so in my case it was mostly 7-8-9-10 using index-middle-ring-pinky.

So, a blues scale starting at the 7th fret on the E string would look like this:
E string: 7 – 10
A string: 7 – 8 – 9
D string: 7 – 9

That’s it.

[edit 03.02.2015] Here’s the minor pentatonic scale, which is the blues scale without the blue note.

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: A brief introduction to scales « Ugly Bass Face

  2. Pingback: Scale Patterns – The Minor Scale 1 « Ugly Bass Face

  3. Pingback: Minor Pentatonic Scale | Ugly Bass Face

  4. Pingback: HLBM 36: Notes on the D-String | Ugly Bass Face

  5. Pingback: Blues Scales | Ugly Bass Face

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