Every piece of music is made up of notes from scales. Often it's one scale but sometimes it's more than one. Either way, those notes refer to the 'key' of a piece of music and once you know it, you can easily:
- Figure out the notes of the bass line
- Use the key to fill, make up your own bass lines, and take a solo
- Memorise the song since scales conform to easy-to-learn patterns on the fretboard
This lesson will show you exactly how to do it.
For some good songs to practise using your own ear, make sure to check out Easy Songs For Bass Players!.
How To Use Your Ear To Work Out The Key
It boils down to the fact that there are a few scales that form the bulk of songs that you want to learn. By far the most common is the major scale and it's relative natural minor.
Honestly, those scales make up so much of music. You need to know them.
In all cases, learn the pattern plus the sound of the intervals that create the scale. This is exactly what you'll hear in songs!
These are the songs from the video lesson. Use them to work out the root note (the lowest note of the scale and the note that sounds like 'home' - where the scale starts from).