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Chordal Scales vs Regular scales


prblack

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I think you're more picking-up on the distinction between a "chordal" approach to playing, vs. emphasis on scales. Old-timers seem to emphasize a chordal approach (root/3rd/5th and passing/transitional tones), whereas many newer players seem to adopt a more scale/mode oriented approach. The approaches are really complimentary, though. The chordal approach is more important with music where the bass is mostly "filling-in" the sound. If the music relies on a clever/complex bass-line, scales become more important.

 

When playing, it usually best for the bass to stick mostly to chordal tones, although a good knowledge of scales/modes is probably required to understand how it all fits together. Jeremyc has posted a lot on this in the past, as have others.

 

Because bass plays the lowest notes, basic physics and the way the ear/brain hear chords means that the bass has to stick mostly to chordal tones. If the bass gets too fancy (anything too far beyond 1/3/5), the overall band's chord can sound "wrong", unless the bass is essentially playing the melody (nifty bass-line).

 

Sadly, I started with a more scale-oriented approach, and it took quite a while before I understood the importance of the chordal aspects...

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Hey Will-Bass, shouldn't that tag line be the LOVE of money is the root of all evil...

:)

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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Originally posted by prblack:

philman99

 

How did you start out learning the chordl scales?

I'll echo the statement that Carol Kaye's site is good for that approach.

 

In my case, I learned about music theory perhaps 25 years ago. Chords are basic to that. I simply applied it to bass. The term "chord scales" is not something I hear, but there's "pentatonic" scales (sounds Chinese) that's quite similar. Anyway, spend a little time learning about chord structure. Search google for some sites on music theory basics. Chord construction (and modes) are basic.

 

There's a *LOT* to knowing what to play over various chord-changes, but learning the basics implied above (root, 3rd, 5th, etc.) would be a great first step. The most basic bass-line in existance is root/5th for each chord (think old-time country or blue-grass).

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Originally posted by RobT:

Hey Will-Bass, shouldn't that tag line be the LOVE of money is the root of all evil...

:)

Send $20 and I'll let you know.
Music has no boundaries. It is yours to discover, to enjoy, to draw from and to pass on to others.
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The term "chord scale" is often applied to the approach of harmonizing a given scale with other notes from the scale.

 

An example: take a major scale and to each note in the scale, stack a pair of fourths. Starting with C, that gives you C-F-B. (Whether a given fourth is perfect or augmented depends on the base scale you're using -- you simply follow the scale spelling slavishly.) Continue and you end up with a very useful set of fourth voicings that work beautifully over Dorian-mode (D minor in this case) or dominant (G7 in this case) vamps that you can move around like you would a scale.

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Originally posted by AlChuck:

The term "chord scale" is often applied to the approach of harmonizing a given scale with other notes from the scale.

 

An example: take a major scale and to each note in the scale, stack a pair of fourths. Starting with C, that gives you C-F-B. (Whether a given fourth is perfect or augmented depends on the base scale you're using -- you simply follow the scale spelling slavishly.) Continue and you end up with a very useful set of fourth voicings that work beautifully over Dorian-mode (D minor in this case) or dominant (G7 in this case) vamps that you can move around like you would a scale.

Never heard that one before, but sounds *interesting*. Any other "buzz-words" (key words) related to this "concept" I could search for in Google? Based on what I see here, it looks functionally equivalent to an approach of using "modes" (ionian, dorian, etc.) as appropriate for the current chord.
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