We know the situation very well. You started playing bass, to have fun, you got passionate and started taking some lessons, or looking for tutorials on Youtube; and, after too much time, you’ve heard of it. What are we talking about? Obviously of the pentatonic scales.
The first time you heard a pentatonic scale you thought, “Wow!” Then immediately they made you listen to that “variant”, called ” blues scale”, and you just thought: “Ok: now I’m ready to become a star “; you’ve had the feeling of having understood all the tricks you needed, and you’ve heard for the first time you have in your hands those weapons you always wanted t create your own music.
Only one last, negligible step is missing: understanding how to use these scales. And here the negligible step immediately turns into an insurmountable obstacle … “well, the pentatonic scales have a beautiful sound, make everything very simple! But … How do I use them? ”
And now, as for everything that has to do with musical theory and the study of harmony, there is no better medicine than to find examples, to understand how certain solutions can be adopted.
The pentatonic scales are the queens of rock, if we want; from the ’60s and ’70s riffs, solos, themes that have made a disproportionate use of them have proliferated. So, if we want to try to make use of them and above all to realize our ideas, be they bass lines rather than real themes to be developed together with our band, the first thing to do is to find meaningful examples and learn them, analyze them, and make them an integral part of our background and our repertoire.
This step, which should be natural for any budding musician, is the one that most often jumps: thinking of starting to give shape to your ideas without first having had the opportunity to experiment with existing material.
And here is the need for a video lesson like the one you find here: try to help you analyze famous songs that have made use of pentatonic scales, analyzing them note by note, and trying to understand why we like them so much.
But, be careful, because the pentatonic scales are not always synonymous with simplicity! Sometimes with only 5 notes in question you can create very interesting ideas! and it is this that, in the first place of my personal classification, I wanted to put the instrumental part of “Sir Duke”, of the great Stevie Wonder. I have tried not only to explain how to play it, but also to analyze it, from the point of view of the choice of notes, and their best fingering on the bass.
The other 4 songs analyzed instead draw inspiration from a decidedly more rock repertoire: the second and third place (you decide who put on the top step of the podium, between 2) there are Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, respectively with “Black dog “And” Black night “, while in fourth place I put” I shot the sheriff “by Bob Marley” and in the fifth place “Sunshine of your love”, by Cream.
5 pieces with a decidedly pentatonic sound, more or less bluesy, which in any case have made the history of music.
Analyze to understand. Understand the material well to use it to the fullest.
This must be the purpose of this lesson, and this is what I expect from you that you read.
Someone said in an old movie “May the force be with you” … I say “May the pentatonic be with you!”