Advanced Bass – Pentatonic Scales

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 33,881
    Professional bass guitar player Scott Giambusso demonstrates Pentatonic Scales on the bass guitar.

    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: This is Scott Giambusso here, helping you find your way around the bass. Now, a fundamental scale thats used in almost all rock music is your pentatonic scale, it is a five note scale that comes out of the major scale. Now, I have discussed the major scale with intervals and I am going to play it in a three-string position. I am going to use A major this time on the fifth fret of the E string, I am going to play an A major scale and the numbers one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Now, the pentatonic scale leaves out number seven and four. It is basically one, two, three, five, six, eight which is the opening guitar rift to my girl, if anybody remembers that the baseline goes five one-one, five one-one, five one-one, five, but the guitar part goes one, two, three, five, six, eight, one, two, three, five, six, eight so thats a good way to remember that. There is bunch of different fingerings. This fingering I find to be very important and the fingering if you are on here at one finger per fret it would be fingering is two, four, one, four, one, four, very simple. Now, a lot of people play it, they will shift, their first finger will shift up to play in the string and you can play in this form here, so I tend to use my pinky for a lot of things because I play up right bass mostly. So, thats the pentatonic scale in that position, but now I am going to do it starting on the pinky. This is real important; a position is left out a lot. I am going to play, my pinky is going to play the first note then my first finger is going to play on the second fret of the next string and then my third finger is going to play the fourth fret and then my first finger is going to play the second fret and the my third finger is going to play the fourth fret and finally my pinky and there is my octave right there. Both A, when you can make your hand do this, now thats the major pentatonic. The minor pentatonic all I have to do is reach my first finger to the second fret to play F sharp and I play this exact same notes, fingering will be one, four, one, three, one three, now I am on the key of F sharp minor which is the relative minor of A major. Relative minors occur from the sixth note of every major scale; one, two, three, four, five, six; thats my relative minor, I will do it backwards, the pentatonic, and we just want to play that over the neck all over the place to the C major, then I am going to play it with my pinky, so I have two positions, your hands gets tired, it is good to know all the possible positions because you might have to shift, the minor pentatonic. There is other ways to do that. A lot of people play it like this. Guys who dont use there pinky will do it like this and thats the two octave one. We will do the second octave at a latter time, but learn the major pentatonic and the minor pentatonic because you use it all the time. It is a great framework for almost any chord.