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Watch the Scales & Leading Tones online guitar lesson by John Goldsby from Upright Bass Handbook

Let's look at the scales found in this etude. We'll concentrate on three main scales found in this blues: Bb Dominant, Eb Dominant, and the scale found in bars 9 and 10, Bb major, which yields the C Dorian to F Mixolydian modes (or scales) found in those bars. In other words, bars 9 and 10 are simply a ii-V progression in the key of Bb major, which lead back to the Bb7 chord in bar 11. Now, don't panic! I don't expect you to learn a lot of chord/scale theory in this bass course. I just want you to be aware that bass players use scales sometimes when we play basslines. Scales are important to eventually learn on the double bass, and the fingering can be quite different than on the electric bass. For now, we're going to walk through this etude, which uses a few scale notes on beats 1, 2, and 3; often using a leading on the 4th beat.

Here are the notes of the three scales (and their variations) found in this etude:

Bb Mixolydian (also called Bb Dominant):
1 | Bb
2 | C
3 | D
4 | Eb
5 | F
6 | G
7 | Ab

Eb Mixolydian (also called Eb Dominant):
1 | Eb
2 | F
3 | G
4 | Ab
5 | Bb
6 | C
7 | Db

F Mixolydian (also called F Dominant):
1 | F
2 | G
3 | A
4 | Bb
5 | C
6 | D
7 | Eb

A bit more music theory for you: The F Mixolydian mode is generated from the Bb major scale. The C Dorian mode is also generated from the Bb major scale. You don't need to know this to play this etude, but knowing some chord/scale theory will ultimately help you create better basslines!

Bb Major Scale (also called the Bb Ionian mode):
1 | Bb
2 | C
3 | D
4 | Eb
5 | F
6 | G
7 | A

C Dorian Scale (can be used on the Cmin7 chord):
1 | C
2 | D
3 | Eb
4 | F
5 | G
6 | A
7 | Bb

F Mixolydian mode or Dominant scale (here again for comparison):
1 | F
2 | G
3 | A
4 | Bb
5 | C
6 | D
7 | Eb