Advanced Bass – How to use Pentatonic Scales in Rock and Blues

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,531
    Professional bass guitar player Scott Giambusso demonstrates How to use Pentatonic Scales in Rock and Blues.

    Scott Giambusso

    Scott, a native Washingtonian, has been performing for audiences since 1968. A self taught musician, he mainly freelances as an acoustic bassist. Scott also plays guitar, electric bass, and tuba as well as singing in the styles of Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Jack Bruce. He has worked with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Modernaires; The Peter Duchin Orchestra; The Ink Spots; The Tokens; Rory (Disney Channel); Charlie Byrd; Susannah McCorkle; Keely Smith, Jamey Aebersold and Chuck Berry. In spring '07 he performed in a clinic and show with Gene Bertincini at the 4 Seasons DC. Besides playing jazz, Scott's latest project is a Cream tribute band featuring Dan Hovey and John Zidar, (formerly Root Boy Slim's rhythm section). The band is called GHz (Gigahertz} and is breaking sound barriers around town. Besides playing over 200 club dates a year, Mr. Giambusso teaches and performs as a member of the Jazz Faculty of the Montgomery College Music Department. Not only does he teach the bass, but he also coaches singers, pianists and all instrumentalists on the nature of music and operates a recording studio for student demos. Because of his versatility, knowledge of tunes and styles, and his 30+ years of gigging experience, he has the rare ability to explain music to the laymen with clarity of vision.

    Scott Giambusso: Scott Giambusso here, your bass doctor. Today we are talking about pentatonic scales. They are really good and I am going to show you how to use them in traditional shuffle and rock fields. Now, the pentatonic which is the one; two; three; five; six and eight is the basic scale. Now, when you are playing a bass line, say, in a rock shuffle or something, I like to use the shortening bread analogy, where I play the root, the six, the five and the six and its the root. Of course, I struck a little flat three in there to give it some grease, but this movement between the fifth note of the scale and the sixth note of the scale and I even added what I call a flat seven, it is a half step above the six. Its just a nice shuffle rhythm. I could go to four chord and back to the one chord. I am approaching the blues. I go to the five chord, and now back to the four chord, of one chord. Those are all the chords in A Blues. Its just the root, the fourth and the fifth; one, two, three, four, five; one, four, five. So, the pentatonic scale worked beautifully. We leave out the two, another variation would be to leave out the two and just play one, three, five, six, eight, six, five, three, one, also the standard think, same basic idea. Some we take it through the scales and well you show that the next time.