View Full Version : Using the major scale box pattern

01-12-2011, 03:40 AM
Jon this one is for you. I posted the following on a bass site and got no replies. So I'm trying here.

Thanks for posting, (bass clef sheet music on Autumn Leaves) snow on the ground, ice everywhere, time on my hands.

OK I've spent some time with this and have some questions.
Up to this point I've been playing dirt simple I IV V progressions with generic chord tones -- and this has been OK, but, now with more detailed progressions, I'm having some problems. Here is what I've been doing:

I place the major scale box pattern - tonic root (key) on the 3rd string (4 string bass) then play my generic chord tone bass line pattern - say the R-3-5-3 (or whatever) moving within the box for the IV and V chord. Moving to the IV's location -within the box - and then playing my R-3-5-3 to catch the IV chord. When the V chord comes into play I move to the V's location - within the box -and play the R-3-5-3 bass line to catch the V chord.
Now when the ii, iii, vii, etc enter the song I'm having trouble relating fast enough that Cm7 is a ii...... The thought process that that chord's name is a ii and then going to the ii's position within the box is slowing me down. I've been penciling in the Roman number over the chord name and this does help.

Should I stay with the tonic root- in the box - being on the 3rd string location or go to the 4th string and grab the root of the chord there - then play my generic pattern. As this moves from the tonic root placement where everything is all within a 4 fret area to the chord's root location which can be all over the fretboard. Which is the accepted way?

I understand standard notation would eliminate this problem, however, finding standard notation bass clef on the music I play is next to impossible. Therefore I play from lead sheet or fake chord.

I did take heart seeing his (Sam Jones) choice of bass line notes revolve around the R's, 5's and 3's as this is pretty well what I do also. At this point in my journey I grab my generic bass line that I've stored in muscle memory and stay within the box location and play my chord progression from this location. Should I continue on this road?

Putting the Roman number over the chord name seems to eliminate the mental lag time. But, as I'm self taught - is there a better way or should I stick with this and let practice ease the problem I'm having?

Need a nudge ....