If you have ever wondered what the major pentatonic scale is, here you will learn how to use it and how to play it on the electric bass.
The major pentatonic bass scale, as its name indicates, (penta=five) has 5 notes and is major.
It is actually a major arpeggio with the 2nd and 6th added.
Fingering of the major pentatonic scale for Electric Bass
To know how to play the major pentatonic we leave the three most common fingerings for this scale in the bass.
In the diagram we start from the fifth fret in the 4th string, we are in A key so we are going to play A major pentatonic scale bass.
The numbers correspond to the fingers of the left hand, therefore, we have 3 ways of making the scale with fingers 1, 2 and 4.
With these pdf we will do exercises with the major pentatonic for the bass.
It is recommended to always practice with a metronome at 60 bpm and gradually increase the speed.
Let’s start this scale with the finger one in the next fingering:
Look at these Bass major pentatonic scale positions :
How is the major pentatonic scale formed ?
The major pentatonic is formed with 5 notes and its origin would come from the major scale which has seven notes.
In order to form the pentatonic it is necessary to remove two notes from the major scale, these are the 4th and 7th of the scale.
This is the way to remove any major pentatonic.
Major Pentatonic Scale Formula
These are the numbers : 1-2-3-5-6
Thus, we would have this intervallic:
- Major second
- Major third
- Perfect fifth
- Major sixth
We are left with a very fast scale of execution and at the same time very consonant, the pentatonic always sounds good because it eliminates precisely the notes to avoid that have to be handled with care.
Now we show another fingering with finger 2, this may be the most used, or perhaps, the best known:
Use of the Major Pentatonic scale
Finally, let’s play the major pentatonic in bass starting with finger 4 or little finger, as you see this fingering throws the hand backwards:
How to use well the pentatonic in the bass is fundamental for any musician.
The use of this scale is very practical since we are going to be able to play it on any major chord whatever its species, that is to say, we don’t care the seventh and the fourth that they have since this scale omits precisely the seventh and the fourth in its intervallic.
- Major chords – A major✅
- Major seventh chords – Amaj7 ✅
- Dominant chords – A7 ✅
- Suspended fourth chords – Asus ✅
- Suspended second chords -Asus2 ✅
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