How to Play a Two String Minor Scale on the Bass

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,718
    Professional bassist Percy White demonstrates how to play a two string minor scale on the bass guitar.

    Percy White

    Percy White is a professional bassist living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pa. He started playing bass when he was 10 years old after trying unsuccessfully to play guitar. As he puts it, "It just made sense. The bass has four strings and I have four fingers to play them with." He started playing by ear but after hearing Stanley Clarke he realized that he had to take lessons and so he did. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Engineering Program but his musical education also continued with his study of jazz and music theory. After serving in the military, White moved to Chicago to begin an engineering career that was short lived due to his love of music. He began taking bass lessons with Nick Schneider (former bassist for the Tonight Show Band) After playing in numerous jam sessions, he began his career as a full time musician. He played with notable jazz artists like Ramsey Lewis, Oscar Brown, Jr, Roy Ayer s, and Ronnie Laws. He has jammed with Buddy Guy at his famous blues club in Chicago. White has been a founding member of two rock bands, two blues bands, one latin/jazz band, and one contemporary jazz group. He has played for the Chicago City Colleges Jazz Band, and was a winning member of the 1996 Chicago Blues band competition. In 2000, White relocated back to the east coast to broaden his musical experiences. He shares his musical knowledge by teaching privately in the DC area. After one of his outstanding performances in DC, White was asked to audition for the 257th Army Band and he recently joined the ranks of the elite performers of the Nation's Capital Army Band. White feels it's an honor to serve his country through his musical talents and is glad to have the opportunity. Although his full time occupation is being an application engineer for a worldwide water treatment company, White can still be seen playing in the Washington, DC area at least five nights a week doing what he has been doing for the last 30 years.

    Percy White: Hi, this is Percy and this is a bass playing series. In this lesson, I am going to show you how to play a minor scale, covering two strings and the exercise that goes with it. So, we get right with it. As you know, each one of your fingers gets its own number, 1, 2, 3 and 4 and it corresponds to note on the scale. So, starting with the G, which is the third fret on the E string and for those who are playing a four string bass thats the lowest string and start here, and start with the first finger and what you going to have is, you have a first finger, slide it down two frets and then number two and then four, go through the next string, same position, 1, 2, 4 and then slide to fourth sting, okay and then I do it again and then going backwards. As always, you always alternate your right hand for every note. Okay now the exercise that goes with it is one that you have done before as you slide, you go for the first four notes of the scale and then you start on second note and play the next four notes and so forth and you use the correct fingering and then backwards. Just that simple and as always use a metronome whenever you practice.