Posted by Ed on January 24, 2001 at 16:21:49:
In Reply to: Scales and Arpeggios posted by Brett on January 05, 2001 at 21:45:30:
: Brett, you kinda already are using them, any time you play a note on your bass it belongs to some scale and may be part of an arpeggio. I think your question points out a common misconception among less experienced players: that somehow "learning theory" is going to be the magic key to being a "better" musician.
But theory needs to be under your fingers and in your ears before it can come out in a musical way.
Learning scales and arpeggios is like learning vocabulary words. You not only have to learn the words, you need to learn their meaning, how they work with each other, what actually sounds good when you say them together and how to make them say what you mean.
Look at them as choices in how and what you want to communicate. You know how to arpeggiate an Eb7 b9 chord. That gives you five note choices. Where are you coming from and where are you going? The next chord gives you the same chance to choose. How are you going to link all of these chords in a way that "tells your story"?
In order to get them in your ear, you need to approach them with some exercises that start with a somewhat limited approach that can expand as your ear expands. It's gonna be easier to work on this stuff in a focused and consistent way if you can find a good teacher.
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