PRACTISING SCALES

You must practice your scales hard , for several purposes:

- Perfect knowledge of the scales, from the lowest note your instrument is capable, to the highest (for guitar or bass guitar, it is the knowledge of the studied scale throughout the whole fretboard , see doc1 and doc2 )

- Work on exercises: we do scales exercises, in order to improve our instrumental technique,with regard to both the velocity and the rhythmic placement

- Phrasing work: it consists of learning how to make a scale “ sing”. We have to search for melodic or rhythmic ideas over the studied scale , or try to create particular moods . This is the longest and most difficult part of the musical practice ,since all our life, we look for ideas, and new horizons ...

SOME EXAMPLES OF WORK ON THE MAJOR SCALE

- Knowledge of the major scale (only for bass guitar or bass) (doc1) (doc2)

On string instruments, practising scales is more difficult, due to the redundancy of the same notes that are found everywhere on the fretboard.

This exercise , for the bass player , involves splitting the neck into 6 positions, and on each given position, one must know all the right notes of the studied tonality . How does it work ? By jumping from one position to the next.

The exercise is given in the key of G major. To explore the scale of Ab major, just move one fret (½ ton) to the right, and so on (for Gb, move back one fret to the left).

That ‘ s how we gain a perfect knowledge of the neck: in fact,this familiarity is acquired fraction by fraction. Wherever we lay the left hand on the neck , we must know all the notes of the tonality that we are playing, around our fingers.

It is therefore a fundamental exercise you should practice every day until perfectly memorized for each position. It will also improve speed and fluidity.

- Finger strength exercises ( all instruments ) (doc3)(doc4)

These exercises are practiced to gain perfect knowledge of a scale, to know how it sounds, to work on velocity and the timing precision , to store rhythmic phrases when they are based on patterns of two, three, four or five notes.

The rhythmic exercises Doc4 are based on the C major pentatonic scale (and therefore A minor), these are quite spectacular patterns which can help on an energetic song accompaniment, or on an improvisation that lacks of energy !

You have to find your own exercises based on patterns of 2 or 3 or 4 notes, which will become one of the hallmarks of your musical personality !

- Practising the phrasing (doc5)

For phrasing work, it is best to play with a rhythm or auto accompaniment, for example created by the software Band-in-a-Box, on only one chord, and try to improvise and test stuff on it.

On Doc5, I play on a Cmajor:

- Notice the pauses, during which I look for ideas

- I try to exploit all possibilities: the tessitura of the instrument, the exercises that I have worked on, rhythm (sometimes via triplets), thanks to the pauses that punctuate the phrasing

- At first , I remain strictly within the studied scale and then towards the end, I will begin to operate advanced concepts, for example tension / resolution, atonality, polytonality (concepts that come naturally when our musical ear develops) that will allow me to personalize and enrich my phrasing ...

- In early Doc5, I work on patterns of two notes separated by a third, and then separated by a fourth. From 3 minutes onwards, I play an advanced concept of in / out, and after 3: 30 minutes, it's up to you ...

So, this is how phrasing work goes.You must be able to go for one hour improvising on one chord , and looking for ideas (melodic, harmonic and / or rhythm) !

- Exercise : Exercise: Work your phrasing for ¼ hour on C-5B7 !

Of course, you have to listen to a lot of music and try to dissect the music and style of music that you appreciate ! Do not hesitate to sometimes try to find the chords or the notes of a musical phrase you particularly like. It’s worth the effort and never a waste of time!





THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES for Bass