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Bass Lesson One

Bass Guitar Scales & Riffs

This lesson will teach you 3 Scale Progression, 
and Riff Building using Pentatonic Minor Scales.


For students who may be new at learning to play by using 
tablature, here's a quick explanation.

Each of the lines represent a string. The first line 
represents the small string, the G string and the line
on the bottom represents the large string E. The numbers
on the line, simply represent which frets to play.

Part 1 / Pentatonic Scales

To define Pentatonic, Pent=5 Tonic=Notes
So , basically, you'll be playing a 5 note scale. Shown 
first is A pentatonic minor. The notes are A,C,D,E,G then 
back to the note A, played as an octave.An octave is the 
same note at a higher pitch!

3 Scale Progression

Shown below is a valuable tool known as 3 scale progression.
By learning these scales in this order, it will give you a
good idea of how bass riffs may be composed in the same or
similar arrangement.

Scale #1 / A Pentatonic Minor Scale

G :------------------------------------------------------
D :--------------------------------5---7-----------------
A :-----------------------5----7-------------------------
E :------------5------8----------------------------------
names of notes:A      C    D   E    G   A

These scales are a great foundation for you to learn to build
Riffs.Let's learn the next 2 scales D Pentatonic, and E Pentatonic
Minor.The notes in each scale are given below. A good student, will
also focus on memorizing the names of the notes, while practicing 
this lesson.
#2                           #3
D Pentatonic Minor           E Pentatonic Minor

G :----------------5---7----------------------7---9------
D :---------5---7----------------------7---9-------------
A :--5---8---------------------7---10--------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------
     D   F  G  A   C   D       E   G   A  B   D   E

As most bassist would build a 3 scale progression to begin writing
a song, the scales are most commonly played in this order.A scale,
D scale, A scale, E scale, D scale, A scale.

   A scale            D scale       A scale
G :--------------------------5--7------------------------
D :-----------5--7-------5--7-----------------5--7-------
A :------5--7--------5--8----------------5--7------------
E :-5--8-----------------------------5--8----------------

   E scale           D scale         A scale
G :-----------7--9------------5--7-----------------------
D :-------7--9------------5--7-----------------5--7------
A :--7--10------------5--8-----------------5--7----------
E :------------------------------------5--8--------------

Part 2 RIFF Building

A riff can be defined as a series of notes, taken from a scale 
to create a song. You can create your own riffs, by using the notes
in any order. This will demonstrate itself, as you play through
Riff #1 shown below.

Riff # 1

G :------------------------------------------------------
D :----7-5----------7-5----------7-5----------7-5--------
A :-------7-5----------7-5----------7-5-----------7-5----
E :-5-5-------8--5-5------8---5-5------8--5-5---------8--

Now that you have the basic concept, play the riffs from
each scale in the same correct order, as you previously 
learned as a 3 scale progression. 

G :-------------------7-5--------------------------------
D :-----7-5--------------7-5---------7-5-----------------
A :--------7-5-----5-5-------8----------7-5--------------
E :-5-5--------8-----------------5-5--------8------------
   4 times           2 times     2 times

G :------9-7-----------7-5-------------------------------
D :---------9-7-----------7-5-------7-5------------------
A :--7-7-------10---5-5-------8--------7-5---------------
E :-------------------------------5-5------8-------------
    1 time          1 time        2 times/start over


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