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3 Easy Reggae Bass Scales



What I’m about to teach you are the three reggae bass scales that you will needReggae Bass Scales to play reggae. Seriously! Yes seriously, these reggae bass scales are all you will ever need to play reggae bass. Period.  


I have been playing music for well over 10 years now and when it comes to learning music, you’re always better off keeping it simple.  And learning the reggae bass scales is no exception. 


The three reggae bass scales we’ll be looking at are the major pentatonic, minor pentatonic and the major scale or Ionian scale.  There are other reggae bass scales you could use but, mastery of these three will cover all your reggae needs and more.    


1. The first of the reggae bass scales you should learn is the major pentatonic.  It is a very sweet and happy scale and it works very well over major chord progressions. For example, in the key of G-Major, it works over G-C-D and G-D-C or if it’s a turn around in the key of C-Major, it will work over C-D-G and in the key of D-Major, D-C-G. 


These are just examples since, you can also add some minor chords to these progressions and the reggae bass scales in question will still work.  Here is the major pentatonic scale in two positions in the key of G. See the video below as well.


G–Major pentatonic reggae bass scales starting on the low E string at fret 3 and then 12.                      




                  |--3 -5-7---- -----|---------------12 -5---------------------| 




2. The second of the reggae bass scales you should master is the minor pentatonic or blues scale. It is a melancholy or some what of sad scale which can produce some deep profound sounds. It works very well over minor chords, and listen to this, it also works well with major chords.  


For example, in the key of G-minor you could use the G blues reggae bass scales over the following chord progressions.  Gm-Cm-Dm or Gm-Dm-Cm, you could even use it for turn around chord progressions like Dm-Cm-Gm or Cm-Gm-Dm etc.  Let your ears be your guide.  Here is the minor pentatonic scale in the key of G. 


G–Minor pentatonic reggae bass scales starting on the low E string at fret 3 and then 10.  







3. The last of the reggae bass scales we will look at is the major or Ionian scale.  Of the reggae bass scales this is the most versatile of them all.  Why, you ask?  Well, it is the parent scale so to speak.  From it you can get most other scales and all the seven modes.  Hence, the reason it’s the most versatile. 


With all the modes to make reggae bass scales, this scale won’t let you down.  Almost any chord progression you can think up it will fit. And rightly so since, reggae uses many chord combinations including minor and major and their derivatives. 


You can try it over the earlier chord progressions I gave you or you could try it with the following in G-Major, G-D-Em-C, G-Am and G-Bm-Am. It also works for more complicated turn around progressions such as, Em-C-D-Bm-C-Am-B7. Seriously, of all the reggae bass scales this is the only one you will need if mastered. And here it is in reggae bass tab form, see the video as well - that may help (smiles).


G–Major reggae bass scales starting on the low E string at fret 3 and then 10.  





                |--3 -5 ------------------|-------10-12-14-------------------------| 




There you have it guys, all the reggae bass scales you will ever need. Just pick out the bass notes of each of your favourite songs and you will see that the bass line sits exactly in the major scale or any of the other two.  


Practice playing along to different chord progressions, while trying to develop a melodic line. It’s very important you do that. Or you could develop a grove without a chord progression and just keep jamming. Have fun!  For more on reggae bass scales


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