April 21, 2015
One of the more difficult things to do on a 4 string bass is play a two octave major scale.
However, by following these simple instructions it’s easy!
Follow along as GRAMMY® Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly reveals 7 major scale forms and then shows you how to play a two octave major scale by connecting two forms with a Unison Tone 8 – Z Angle.
To read more, download this pdf to your desktop by clicking here.
Leave a Comment » | Bass, Bass Technique, Bass Theory, Music Theory | Tagged: bass, bass guitar, forms, major scale, Music Education, octaves, tone 8, unison | Permalink
Posted by Mike Overly
January 28, 2015
Let’s begin by showing tone numbers 1, 2 , 3 on a six string guitar,
and on a four string bass.
Whether you use a pick or your fingers to strum your guitar or bass, there are only two ways to strum efficiently: alternate or toward.
The definition of efficient is less energy. Less energy means less strums. And less strums will result in much faster technique!
The following two strum suggestions will help you play more efficiently when strumming with a pick.
1) When tones are on the same string you use alternate strums. The definition of alternate is “to switch back and forth one after another.”
2) When tones move to a different string, you strum toward that string. The definition of toward is “in the direction of.” For example, when your fretting finger moves down to a lower numbered different string, strum down toward that string. Conversely, when your fretting finger moves up to a higher numbered different string, strum up in the direction of that string.
The down stroke sign looks like a staple and the up stroke sign looks like a V.
To help you strum the following exercise with even greater efficiency, begin with a stroke up.
The following two strum suggestions will help you play more efficiently when strumming with your fingers.
1) When tones are on the same string or move down to a different lower numbered string you use you use alternate strums. Remember, the definition of alternate is to switch back and forth one after another.
2) When tones move up to a different higher numbered adjacent string use the same finger to strum that string. The definition of adjacent is “next to.”
For example, if you are playing tone 2 with your m finger, you will alternate and play tone 3 with your i finger. However, if you are playing tone 3 with your m finger, you will use the same m finger to play tone 2 on the higher numbered adjacent string. In other words, you use alternate strums except when the next tone is on a higher numbered adjacent string. In that case, you strum with the same finger toward that string.
Your index finger is i and your middle finger is m.
To help you strum the following exercise with greater strum efficiency, fingers i and m are shown.
’til next time, have some efficient pick and finger strum fun… I’ll be listening!
1 Comment | Bass Technique, General Music, Guitar, Guitar Technique, Improvisation, Music Theory | Tagged: alternate, bass, down stroke, efficiency, efficient picking, finger picking, guitar, major scale, strum, up stroke | Permalink
Posted by Mike Overly
January 20, 2015
One octave has 12 sounds and 21 letter, tone, and staff note symbols: 7 (natural) + 7# (sharp) + 7b (flat) = 21 symbols. Now, the question becomes: are there 21 major scales? The simple answer is yes – but to spell them we need more than 21 symbols. For example, we can easily play a G# major scale, but to spell it we need a double sharp symbol: G# A# B# C# D# E# F##. The same is true for the Fb major scale: easy to play, but to spell it a double flat is needed: Fb Gb Ab Bbb Cb Db Eb. Said a different way, the reason why there are only 15 traditional major scales is because there are only 21 symbols from which to spell – and you can only spell 15 major scales with those 21 symbols! In other words, to spell any other major scales, not listed below, we would need additional double sharp and double flat symbols.
Notice that even though each major scale has a different letter spelling, they all have the same tone number spelling: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. Traditional music theory call tone numbers, scale degrees. The different letter spellings are the result of applying the major scale interval pattern (2 frets – 2 frets – 1 fret, 2 frets – 2 frets – 2 frets – 1 fret) to each of the 15 traditional major scale letter spellings. In other words, there are 15 major scales, in 15 major keys, that are known by their 15 major key signatures. See Guitar EncycloMedia page 15.
For now, key will simple be the letter of tone 1, also known as the root or the tonic. For example, if we are in the key of C major, then the letter C is tone 1, and the key signature is 7 naturals. In the next lesson we will learned how to connect 12 sounds and 21 symbols on the fretboard, in a perfect 4th and perfect 5th interval sawtooth pattern. But for now, let’s illustrate this 4th and 5th interval pattern as a “circle” of 15 perfect 4th and perfect 5th related major keys and relative minor keys.
It’s important to remember that up a perfect fourth arrives at the same letter as down a perfect fifth, but sounds one octave higher in pitch. In contrast, down a perfect fourth arrives at the same letter as up a perfect fifth, but sounds one octave lower in pitch. This is known as the rule of nine. What becomes apparent as we look at this new parabolic view of of 4ths and 5ths, is that the “circle” of 4th & 5th intervals is not a circle at all, but rather a parabola! Simply stated, a parabola is two curved lines that start at the same place, in this case C, but end at two different places, in this case Cb and C#. The parabola view shows us an important fact — the only way to create a circular motion is to modulate (change keys) at one of the three enharmonic keys: Db/C#, Gb/F# or Cb/B and continue in the same direction toward “home.” See Guitar EncycloMedia page 42.
The point of all this will become more meaningful when we begin to explore harmony progressions.
’til next time, have some parabolic fun, no matter what key you’re in… I’ll be listening!
1 Comment | Bass, Bass Theory, General Music, Guitar, Guitar Theory, Music Theory | Tagged: double flat, double sharp, encyclomedia, interval, Key, key signatures, major keys, major scale, modulate, Music Theory, one octave, parabola, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, relative minor keys, rule of nine, scale degrees, tone numbers | Permalink
Posted by Mike Overly