Chromatic Scale on Bass

We can say that the chromatic scale is an enumeration of notes.

The chromatic scale in the bass will allow us to play all the notes that we have in our musical notation system.

That is, we base ourselves on a system that divides the octave in 12 equal parts which we call semitones.

In other cultures there are other systems but the tempered system is the most used in occidental music.

So, we base ourselves on 12 notes or 12 semitones which we call C.

If you see that you get lost with the notes you can check our article Bass notes on the neck

  • C
  • C#/Db
  • D
  • D#/Eb
  • E
  • F
  • F/Gb
  • G
  • G#/Ab
  • A
  • A#/Bb
  • B

As you can see we have 7 notes (C, D, E, F, G, A, B) and in turn we have 5 intermediate sounds that we call with the alterations of sharp “#” or flat “b”.

This succession of notes, that is to say, this chromatic scale does not tell us much musically, for that reason, the use of it is going to be for fragments or to make melodic approximations.

Chromatic Scale for bass (Fingering)

Well, here’s the chromatic scale for bass.

We have put only one pattern because we think it will be easier to understand everything.

Other fingering may be possible but the truth is that with this electric bass pattern we have plenty to start with.

This chromatic scale is going to begin from the note A and with the finger 1.

chromatic scales bass

It is a bass scale that comes perfect for finger opening exercises because each finger touches a fret and we go down the ladder a half-tone backwards.

Using Chromatic scales Bass

Many people think, especially in the classical world, that this scale is for playing jazz.

That’s not true, this scale doesn’t generate any complex tonal chords and functions like our major scale or minor scale harmonic or melodic, so it’s not going to sound like jazz by itself.

If it is true that it is going to serve us a lot to play jazz because in the background in jazz we play with many chromatic approximations to link arpeggios and scales.

Therefore, we nourish ourselves by using chromatisms that are fragments of this scale.

When walking bass, as a bass player, we will use many chromatic transitions derived from this scale, for example;

We have the note E and we want to go to the note G using a chromatism, ie using the notes closer together if we will remain:

E– F- F#-G

It is a way of approaching the G by semitone, also called chromatism.

The truth is that we can talk a lot more about this scale but as an introduction these clarifications can serve us perfectly.

We should not obsess about the chromatic scale because unless we want to achieve a coloristic effect we will never use it completely.

Now, leave us a comment if you have any doubts,

Did you know chromatic scale for bass ?

Do you use it ?

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