If you are a newbie to bass, or even someone fairly experienced, practicing scales is a must.
By playing scales, you will:
1. Train your ear;
2. Learn your bass neck;
3. Condition your fingers.
Practicing major scales means playing the "do re mi fa sol la ti do" sound, starting with each note in the scale.
For example, to play C major scale, you play C D E F G A B C.
To play F major scale, you play F G A Bb C D E F.
Memorize each scale so that you can play it forward and backward quickly and without hesitation.
Consult the chart on the right for the notes in each major scale. Then play each one in the order shown above, which is in "Circle of Fourths" order (this will help train your ear). When you play each note, say the note out loud - this will affix the location of each note in your memory. Play up the scale and then down the scale (for example, CDEFGABC CBAGFEDC).
To find the location of the notes, consult the graphic immediately below:
Start simply. Learn C scale first. Play the notes as follows:
Remember, you count the strings from the bottom up. The string on the bottom is G, the next up is D, then A and finally (on top) is E.
Finally, watch this video to hear the C Major scale and how it is played:
If possible, listen to the videos and recordings with head phones, unless you have larger speakers attached to your computer. The small, built-in speakers in most computers cannot reproduce the bass or the warmth of the original recordings.
I play bass guitar and string bass in and around Hollister, California.