Major Scale Fingerings for the Bass

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 45,947
    Professional bass guitar player Scott Giambusso demonstrates Major Scale Fingerings for 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: Hi! This is Scott, your bass doctor. We are continuing our journey through scales and rhythms and all the ingredients you need to become a great bass player. We are going to now explore a couple of different fingerings for the major scale and I am going to play this major scale in the key of G. So, G is on the third fret of your E string, your E string is your fourth string one, two, three, four, I am going to play this G note on the third fret with my second finger. Now, the fingering all mighty important and we are going to use each one of these sounds, we are going to use a number system. First, lets use the number system for our fingers, our fingers will be one, two, three and four and each going to be on an individual fret. So, you ought to move your hand. I can simply take the fingering will be two-four-one-two-four-one-three-four, four-three-one-four-two-one-four-two and you can even go one-two because the scale goes down for ever and up for ever several octaves, your goal is to play two octaves, music is played in at least two octaves and the numbers change. Now, the intervals when I go to that G octave there, we could continue playing, it is still G I dont have an F sharp so I have to bend up to the F sharp and I have the G harmonic up here, but the whole point of two octaves is very important. Now, going back to the scale, there is a lot of ways to approach it thats a great position, but now these are intervals. Now, we are going to give the intervals numbers. G is one, A the second note is 2, it is going to be one through eight, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, very important because from now on I am going to refer to numbers for every key, I dont ever care about the key names or notes but I care about the numbers and thats how we are going to figure our way around. So, thats the G major scale. I am going to show you one more way to play the G major scale in two octaves that gleaned off Jaco Pastorius video and you think you can do to study Jaco Pastorius will improve your bass playing. So, this fingering involves first finger plays the G and your second finger is going to reach up, actually the first three notes are going to be on the E string G, A, B, using fingers one, two and four and the next finger exact same thing, C, D, E and then finally your second finger or your first finger comes to the fourth fret to play the seventh note of the scale and finally the root of the scale which brings you to a position not unlike we have started before, thats the second octave. I am going to take my first finger and put it on the ninth fret and then my third and fourth finger will finish the scale, so it looks like this in its entirety, thank you so much, and that is a two octave G major scale it can be played all over the neck. I suggest you do it up higher in another key because the notes are closer together, it is little easier and you can work your way down, if you play it correctly, and thats your two octave major scale.