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Jazz Bass Lessons: Basic Concepts

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This is our music
theory section.
I wanted to make sure for
those of you who haven't
had a chance to study these types of
things that we give you some background.
It'll help you understand and
grow quicker on the other sections where
I have the bass in my
hand teaching you things.
So, on the piano, things are laid
out very clearly for music theory.
And I just want to start
with basic things.
Anytime you hit a pitch,
those are what we call notes.
These are all notes.
On the piano, there are 88 keys,
88 notes, okay?
So that's easy.
Notes are pitches.
Scales are just collections
of those notes.
Now the most basic scale
is the major scale.
So on the piano,
that's the white keys, for C major.
We're gonna deal with C major cuz it's
the most clear one that I know of, so
here we go.
C major.
Here we have a collection of
notes that has whole steps, and
this is good cuz on
the piano it's very visual.
The distance between these
white keys is a whole step.
And in C major there's a nice visual here
between C and C sharp, that's a half step.
that's a half step,
this is a whole step.
So in a major scale we have a whole step,
and another whole step,
and here's a half step again.
Hear the difference between that?
That's one thing to start thinking about,
I wanted you to see it and hear it.
You don't have to play piano to get this
music theory section of what we're dealing
with here.
So we have whole step, a whole step,
a half step, a whole step,
a whole step, a whole step,
and finally a half step.
That's the major scale.
It's all white keys.
Now, if we wanna do a minor scale,
the first one we always learn
is the natural minor scale.
So on this one we have a whole step
and then we have a half step
So a minor scale is a whole step,
a half step, a whole step, a whole step,
a half step, a whole step and
a whole step.
And the natural one sounds like this.
That's a little
darker sound.
Maybe some people equate a sadder sound,
a more mournful tone when you play minor.
Major's bright.
Sadder, a little bit minor.
Okay, there's just two more minor
scales I'm gonna touch on really quickly.
One is called the melodic minor scale, and
it's actually the closest
to the major scale.
It's like a major scale,
except down on the bottom of the scale,
we have one interval that
makes it sound minor, okay?
Very simple way to think about it.
Here's the major scale.
But the third note of the scale,
which is called the third.
When we talk about intervals in a minute,
we'll talk about the intervals, and
they talk about the space
between the notes.
Those are intervals.
But in this case, instead of being a major
sound on the bottom we switch one note.
The third note we hit, we call it flatted.
The regular note was here on the white
key and we took it down one key and
made it a black key, and all of a sudden
we have a minor sound on the bottom, but
then the rest of it's major.
That's melodic minor.
Notice it's only one note different than.
So that's melodic minor.
So there we have a whole step,
a half step, a whole step,
whole step, whole step,
whole step, half step.
So this gives you an idea
of the melodic minor.
Then there's one called
the harmonic minor.
These are the basic ones.
There are millions of different kinds
of scales, from all over the world,
it's pretty exciting.
You can learn different sounds and
they give you a different mood and
a different vibe.
So this one is harmonic minor and
you find this in more exotic musics from
the Middle East and it's a great sound.
Now, notice this one has a whole step,
a half step, a whole step, a whole step,
a half step, and
here we have a new interval,
it's a little even bigger.
This is what we call a minor third.
And we're gonna talk about all
the intervals in a second.
But just take my word for it,
it's a minor third and then a half step.
that's the only scale that we're talking
about that has a minor third in it.
So it's a bigger space there, right?
Okay, so those are the basic
minors that we'll be dealing with.
For awhile.
Now, there's one more
scale that I want to talk
and which is called the dominant seventh
A dominant seven scale Dominant chords,
we talk about the way to break
up the scale, the major scale.
Inside this major scale are all
these different chords and
we're gonna talk about that in a second.
But the dominant seventh scale is gonna
become very useful when we play the blues
and musics like that where there's
a lot of what we call dominant
seventh chords, okay?
All that means is you take a major scale
and we flat the seventh.
This is one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven.
And now it's a flat.
Usually in the major scale
it's a natural seven.
Now it's
and that's a dominant seventh,
it's a flatted seventh.
You hear it in blues all the time.
We'll talk about it later, okay?
Now let's talk about
these intervals and what they mean.
The space between each note
is called an interval.
So first we have.
The first note is a C here, and
if we go between the C and
this black key, which is called a D-flat.
Because the D's right next to it.
This is a lower D, so
it's called a D-flat.
So this interval is called a minor second,
or as we said before a half step.
Okay, so that's a minor second.
A major second,
between these C and the D natural here.
Major second.
Then there's one called a third, right?
Here's a major third.
And here's a minor third.
Get that sound in your head, okay?
So we have a minor second,
a major second,
a minor third,
and a major third.
Then we have a fourth, and
what we're doing is only,
we're just counting up the scale.
One, two, three, four,
that's why it's a fourth.
So, C, D, E, F,
that's a fourth.
And we have a raised fourth.
That's C to F-sharp, sharp,
when we put a sharp next to a note,
it raises a half step.
So F-sharp,
that's a sharp four.
Now we count up five, one,
two, three, four, five.
C, D, E, F, G, there's a G there.
Again, I didn't mention it before, but
the musical alphabet, if we start from C,
we're gonna say C, C-sharp, D,
E-flat, E, F, F-sharp, G, A-flat,
A, B-flat, B, and then we get to C again.
When you go eight notes in a row like that
in the scale, one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight is an octave.
When you add all these other notes, these
little flatted notes and sharp notes,
you get 12.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, and
then we're back at the beginning again.
So that's when people say there are only
12 notes in music, that's what they mean.
So we were at a fifth,
there's a fifth.
Then we have a raised fifth also.
That's G sharp.
And we have a sixth.
That's an A.
Now also, that's a major sixth,
there's also a minor sixth.
Then back to the A-flat.
That's a minor sixth.
Major sixth.
Now we have a major seven.
And we have a minor seven.
Now in jazz,
we also call that a flatted seventh,
because it has to do with that dominate
seventh scale I told you about before.
There you have the major seven,
and now you have an octave.
Now with ear training,
there are notes past an octave,
and we're gonna do them on the piano.
In C I think you'll be
able to do them easier, so
now we're gonna sing the intervals.
Here's a half step.
That's a half step, try that one with me.
Then we have a whole step.
Remember the half step is called a minor
That's a minor second,
here's a major second.
And that's not so bad right?
Then a minor third.
And a major third.
Then a fourth.
A raised four.
Sometimes they call that a tritone too.
Then a 5th.
And just so you know, if you make this
fifth down a half step back to that
F-sharp, they call that a flatted fifth.
So there are different names for
that C to F-sharp.
And a perfect fifth.
Sometimes also on the fourth,
they call that a perfect fourth too.
Okay, perfect fifth.
Then a sharp five.
Then a sixth,
that's a major sixth.
Sometimes you flat that and
call it a minor six,
and we're back down to the A-flat again.
Then the major seven is.
And the flatted seventh or
sometimes people call it
a minor seventh as well.
Then the octave.
Then we have a flatted ninth next.
That's kind of a stretch, try that again.
Then the regular nine.
Then a flatted tenth,
or a minor tenth.
Then the major tenth.
Then an the eleventh.
Then a sharp
Then a twelfth.
Then a flat thirteenth.
And then the thirteenth.
And thankfully,
that's the end of it because
I can't go any higher.
[LAUGH] So, anyway,
I want you to practice these intervals so
that you know some basic music theory.
This is gonna be important later on
when we talk about 13th chords and
11th chords, and chords with a sharp 11.
Then you'll know and
you can refer back to this and go yeah,
that's what he was talking about, okay?