C Major (part 1)

As this is my very first post I am excited about what the future holds. Ultimately, this will be up to you to make it successful! If this is a place you can learn and find inspiration for your own playing, then share it with others who might be in the same place you once found yourself. We’ve all been “there,” stuck in a rut or just not sure what to study. I remember wondering what it was those great bass players knew and how they knew what to play over certain chords. They understood something. THEORY! Before you start saying, “oh, here we go again,” hear me out. They may not have known every nuance of music theory, but they understood the relationship notes have with one another in certain keys and the chords within those keys. That is what this first post is about. I’m not starting out with the basics of the parts of the bass or even with the notes on a standard (EADG) tuned four string bass. If you don’t know that then catch me another time and I’ll create some cards, but today we’re concerned with learning the most used scale in all of music.

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, visit my dropbox folder titled “C Major” and download the two audio files (C major walking bass, C major bass practice). I’ve created these audio files to help you as you learn and build muscle memory.


Save the picture file “Scaling C Major” from the C Major folder and practice going through each fingering until you can recall the shape as you call out the name the of the triad. Now practice along with the audio file labeled “C Major Walking Bass.” The track begins with the C Major Triad and goes through all seven positions of the C Major scale. Become very familiar with these positions. The track then immediately starts the C Major scale, walking it up from C to the octave (C), then back down, up once more and then the C major chord is held out for 3 counts. So, here’s what it looks like:

  • C major triad
  • D minor triad
  • E minor triad
  • F major triad
  • G major triad
  • A minor triad
  • B diminished triad
  • C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
  • C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C
  • C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
  • C major chord (1,3,5 – C, E, G) played in unison

This pattern repeats for 4:16. This should provide ample time to get some muscle memory and hopefully connect some dots for you.

DOWNLOAD ALL OF THE FLASH CARDS from the folder! You might even make yourself a Dropbox account and create a folder titled “SYB” or “Scaling Your Bass” so as to keep this information safe and separate. Here are just a few at a lower resolution. Get the full resolution and both tracks in the folder.

CmajorCtri CmajorBdimtri

I have created a card for each interval of the C Major scale and have provided information on each card concerning the triads and their relation to C.

Finally, I have created a 7:28 audio track you can practice along to, “CMAJOR BASS PRACTICE.” Here you can get some practice grooving along to an artificial track. It is by no means meant to be a song. It contains all of the chords within the C Major scale but should provide time and space to practice your triads. And remember you don’t always have to start on the “1” of the triad. The chords are as follows:

  • A minor
  • B dim
  • C major
  • F major
  • B dim
  • A minor
  • C major
  • G major
  • D minor
  • E minor

Thanks for taking the time to study, download and share. I look forward to the time when we’re Scaling Your Bass with the Pentatonic scale.

Try playing along to the Avett Brothers’ November Blue in C major.


4 thoughts on “C Major (part 1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s