The Natural Minor Scale For Bass Guitar

2019-01-18T13:36:44+00:00December 30th, 2016|Categories: Bass Scales & Arpeggios, Beginner Bass Lessons|5 Comments

This is a simple bass lesson on the Natural Minor Scale for beginners.

The Minor Scale

The natural minor scale is our basic foundation when it comes to the minor key.

In numbers relative to the basic major scale, the minor scale is:

2  b3  4  5  b6  b7  8

In the key of C, the minor scale would be:

C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C

We can play this scale starting on the third fret of the A string.

Get this pattern under your fingers by starting on a different note every time. When you move it around, the fret pattern and the fingering stay the same no matter where you take it. Once you feel comfortable with this, try starting on an open string.

The Minor Scale In Application 

Now you know the shape, you can start experimenting with it to create your own riffs. Here is one to get you started:

This riff uses a box shape similar to the one we use when playing octaves. Because the frets are spaced further apart lower down the neck, it is more practical to play this riff using the first and fourth fingers. This means there will be less of a jump than if you used the first and third fingers.

However, don’t worry too much about the fingering. Do what feels comfortable for you and works best for the line. 

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  1. William Weyland April 22, 2018 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Well what if I have small hands and can’t hold each note down.?

  2. Fernando Barao June 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Very good, I’m going slowly and soon I will subscribe a lesson. I like your method // Cheers

  3. Joel Everett August 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    On the riff, why did you choose to use the 5th fret of the D instead of an Open G?

    • Talkingbass-Mark August 17, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Always try to use fretted notes when possible (within reason). You have less control over an open string and it’s much harder to transpose when you’re relying on them. However, open strings are useful when purposefully added to overcome technical hurdles like position shifts.

  4. RAYMOND G LOBO October 10, 2018 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Started playing again after 35 year layoff never learned how to read music always played by ear,
    You’ve made reading music easy and enjoyable
    Keep up the good work Mark!

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