This lesson covers how to play scales and arpeggios on the bass guitar but only descending from a high root note.

This lesson was inspired by a Skype lesson I was giving recently on walking bass lines and the student was having problems with descending arpeggios. Ascending then descending was fine but descending from any given note was hard.

So this bass lesson is intended to help with getting over that hurdle. The main arpeggios of the major 7, minor 7, dominant 7 and minor 7 b5 are covered along with an assortment of scales.

Descending Arpeggios

We tend to practice scales and arpeggios going up and then back down again. This means that it can be confusing when we only need to descend as we often rely on the ascent to remember the scale. This is fairly common, but can be problematic when it comes to linking chords together to create walking bass lines. To make descending feel more comfortable and natural, you need to practice coming down the scale or arpeggio on its own. This means choosing an arpeggio or scale and descending from the higher octave down to the root.

Again, there are a few different ways to play any one arpeggio. Underneath is the notation and TAB for four different chords and each one is shown with three alternative fingerings.

Once you have these shapes under your fingers you can start moving them around to different starting notes.

Descending Scales

Scales can be played in exactly the same way as arpeggios, the only difference is that they have more notes. Again, there are loads of alternative ways to shape each scale so a few are shown below.

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