A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Coursera – DYM Lesson 6 videos (2)

The 2nd video for the 6th, and final, lesson of Coursera’s online Developing Your Musicianship class speaks about utilizing the major scale pattern starting on roots other than C. This, of course, introduces the class to sharps and flats in a scale – something which they’ve only seen so far in chords.

2. The Major Scale Beyond C (4:13)

The video begins with Professor Russell on the piano. He plays a jazzy piece for the first minute and a half. I noticed that he was playing 7th chords a lot in the bassline with his left hand. That also leaves about 2:45 for the actual lesson. He welcomes us back, dressed in a suit to celebrate the fact that we’ve just completed the course, which is a bit premature considering that there are still a few videos, a homework assignment and quiz left before we actually wrap-up. He announces that this is the last segment and then asks what have we learned in the course. He answers this by saying that we’ve learned the terms ear training, harmony, tonal center, we know what an interval is, we know what a form is, and says that all of these are things that are going to contribute to our musical foundation.

“Another thing we learned,” he continues, “was the major scale.” He asks why that’s so important and answers it by saying, “Because just about everything we do is going to come from that major scale.” He then reviews how the major scale is constructed, playing and singing that “whole-step, whole-step, half-step,” song from Lesson 1 in C.

With the review in C done, he says, “Now, we can basically use that form starting on any note.” He plays it again, this time in G, and says, “If I chose the key of G – notice the key of G has one sharp.” He then plays it one more time, in F, and calls to our attention that it has one flat.

With C, F and G done, he moves on to a key with a root that’s an accidental. He says, “How about I start in the key of E flat.” He locates E on the piano and plays it. “This is E,” he says. Then, he moves down one key on the piano and says, “To play E flat, you simply go down a half-step.”

He didn’t actually get into the distinction that some of the keys that need to be played are black keys. So, although the idea is introduced, its not really explained. And, of course, on bass, its also different, but in some ways, maybe its initially easier if finger patterns are used.

That ends the review and introduction of new keys for the major scale.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Coursera – Developing Your Musicianship Lesson 6 | Ugly Bass Face

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