Okay, I've been playing bass for almost 3 months, and yet I'm still a little shaky on the basic scale, and there's a question or two that I have about how guitar tuning works. Could someone tell me if this is right for a scale (starting at the A and going up)

A, A#/Bb, B/Cb, C/B#, C#, D, D#/Eb, E/Fb, F/E#, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab
That is the chormatic scale. It basically means every not played one after the other. All other scales have selected notes.
Quote by boreamor
Ah very good point. Charlie__flynn, you've out smarted me


crit4crit on 'acoustic 1 (with piano)' here

Rate my playing skills please.
what you got there is a chromatic scale, meaning it uses every one of the 12 different pitches we have in the western music system thing.

if you were to play for instance a major or minor scale you would take a certain 7 of these notes.

there are some good lessons on here explaining all that far better than I just did and how to construct them and know what notes to use, have a look at some of them
The 'E' is like the 'B', it has no # (sharp). So it would be:

A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab
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^shut up. his is fine, and it should be taught like that any ways.
You forgot /Db after C#

And this is called the chromatic scale, not the basic scale.
Those are all the notes, as everyone is pointing out - the "Chromatic Scale" ascending from A.

Next learn the Major Scale.

The Major Scale is a seven note scale that follows a specific "step pattern" of Whole Steps and Half Steps. (sometimes called Tone and Semitone or Whole Tone and Half Tone etc.)

A Whole Step is equal to moving two places along the chromatic scale you have outlined above. So if you started on A and moved up one Whole Tone you would land on B. It is the equivalent of moving up 2 frets on the guitar.

A Half Step or semitone is moving one place along the chromatic scale. If you start on A and move up one semitone you will land on A#/Bb.

The Major Scale is this step pattern:
(where W = Whole Step and H = Half Step)

So starting on A you move up a whole step to B then up another whole step to C# then up a half step to D then up a whole step to E then up a whole step to F# then up a whole step to G# then a half step back to A.
Major Scale in A = A B C# D E F# G# A

My suggestion would be to write out all the Major Scales in every key using the chromatic scale you wrote above and the major scale step pattern.

I would suggest starting with with C. Then for the next one start on the fifth degree of the previous scale.

So to get you started C = C D E F G A B C. Then count along 5 starting with C=1, you get G=5. So write out the G major scale. Then do the same thing again count along the G major scale to the 5th note (using G=1) and use that note as the new root to write out the major scale.

You don't have to but I suggest doing this as an exercise as it will help you to see a relationship among the various major scales as you progress.

When you write them you will come to a point when you will have to decide whether to write certain notes as # or b (do I write G# or Ab). These notes are "enharmonic" they sound the same but have different names. The way to choose is to use each letter only once in each scale. Use either # or b in each major scale (not both). The way to decide whether you use # or b will be whichever one you need to use less of in order to write the scale.

For example G# Major Scale can be written G# A# B# C# D# E# F## (it uses each letter only once but uses 8 sharps!!) If we write it as Ab Major instead of G# Major then we get Ab Bb C Db Eb F G again we only use each letter only once but this time we only have 4 b's so it is the better notation to use.

Then of course find the notes and play through the major scales on your instrument. Sing them too.
Print out the above post and put it on your wall. Great summary of scales.

"Scale" just means a succession of notes, ascending or descending. There's no such thing as "The Scale." There are many different kinds of scales. Here are some of the more common scales used in modern music (you can look up how to construct them pretty easily, here or elsewhere):

The major scale
The harmonic minor scale
The melodic minor scale
The diminished scale
The whole-tone scale
The major and minor pentatonic scales

You get "modes" by starting and ending on different notes of these scales. For example: if you start the C major scale on C, you get C major, but if you start it on D, you get D dorian. Same exact notes, just starting and ending in a different place (d-e-f-g-a-b-c instead of c-d-e-f-g-a-b). Modes of the above list of scales get you almost all the tonalities used by all the chords and key centers in modern western music.
Quote by mongo_man
The 'E' is like the 'B', it has no # (sharp). So it would be:

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

Actually you're wrong. It does have a Sharp. It enharmonic to F.
Okay, thanks. Now I have another question though; I was feeling good with bass tuning, but then though about guitars, and then thought about the B string... If you're keeping in place, it should be 2 1/2 steps above the G, which is a B#. Is the B actually a B#, or is it figured out using a different scale, or what?
the difference between the g and b strings its shorter than the difference between any of the other strings, to make voicings easier(I imagine). It's a major 3rd rather than a perfect 4th.