In this week’s training session I want to cover the Ab major scale and exploratory exercises. For beginner players, focus on memorizing the notes of the scale and where they are on your fretboard. More experienced players can play through the exercises, the scale in 5ths, rhythmic variations and sample bass line as well as add the scale exercise ideas from last session, ie: the scale in 3rds and 4ths. If you need more help with the rhythms, please refer back to former lessons in which I have covered 8th and 16th notes. I also recommend being comfortable with lessons covering the other major scales up to this point as I will continue to build on such material. You can locate these articles in our previous issues.
Ab Major Scale
This scale begins on Ab and contains 4 flats total. The first 4 in the order of flats to be exact: Bb Eb Ab Db
Ab Major Scale in 5ths
This exercise focuses on playing each scale degree and the diatonic 5th above it. Every 5th is a perfect 5th, except for the 7th degree which is a diminished, AKA b5.
Ab Major Scale with Rhythmic Variations
I like to switch up the rhythms, especially when covering similar material on each scale. In this exercise you get to flex your 16th note muscles (and remember, being able to account for the smallest measurement of rhythm in any measure helps to make your timing rock solid) as well as practice the scale in 2 octaves.
Sample Bass Line in Ab
This is where we get to see why it’s helpful to learn all this information. I have used this bass line in many blues tunes before.
Have fun with these but don’t forget also to allow yourself plenty of PNT……Personal Noodling Time. It’s good to shred these exercises but give yourself some time every practice session to just play whatever you want, no rules! Connect with your instrument so you can remember why you started this in the first place.
Enjoy your BASS!!!