A Minor Scale Bass Lesson

A Minor Scale Bass Positions and Tabs: 7 Shapes Used by Pros

Learn all A minor scale bass positions on the fretboard with this simple, yet comprehensive guide.

The A minor scale is usually the first minor scale you’ll learn for bass guitar.

This is due to the fact that all of its notes are natural. And what other bass scale has all natural notes? The C major scale.

And assuming this isn’t your first music theory rodeo, you’ve probably heard of the C major scale. It’s the relative major of the A minor scale, so if you already know its positions, then you know the positions of the A minor scale by default.

With that out of the way, let’s take a good look at the most important minor scale in the world of bass guitar and music!

A minor scale bass fretboard diagram (showing intervals)

Bass natural minor scale fretboard diagram in A minor

A Natural Minor Scale One Octave Bass Fingering

A natural minor bass scale one octave

Notes in the A minor scale

A-B-C-D-E-F-G are the notes in the A minor scale, for bass guitar and any other instrument.

Chords in the A minor scale

Understanding the chords in the A minor scale is vital for composition, accompaniment, and improvisation.

A MinorB Dim.C MajorD MinorE MinorF MajorG Major
A Min.7B Min.7b5C Maj.7D Min.7E Min.7F Maj.7G7
Chords in the A minor scale, organized diatonically

A minor scale bass: All positions

All of these positions are played as 3 notes-per-string shapes (NPS). There are other ways to memorize the A minor scale across the fretboard, but this is the easiest way in my experience.

As I mentioned in the post’s intro, the notes in the A minor scale are the same as the notes in the C major scale, so if you memorize these 3 NPS positions, you’ll know the shapes for both scales, plus the shapes for all of the other modes of C major.

Also, memorizing all 7 A minor bass scale shapes will make it easier to learn all of the bass fretboard notes.

Position 1

A minor scale bass position 1: 3-notes-per-string

Position 2

A minor scale bass position 2: 3-notes-per-string

Position 3

A minor scale bass position 3: 3-notes-per-string

Position 4

A minor scale bass position 4: 3-notes-per-string

Position 5

A minor scale bass position 5: 3-notes-per-string

Position 6

A minor scale bass position 6: 3-notes-per-string

Position 7

A minor scale bass position 7: 3-notes-per-string

A minor scale bass all positions audio

A minor scale bass tab PDF

What’s Next?

Did you know that the natural minor scale has a little brother called the pentatonic scale? It’s an easy, 5-note scale, and you can learn it in this minor pentatonic scale bass lesson, which includes all 5 positions of A minor pentatonic.

Also, you can’t do much with the A minor scale if you haven’t learned a thing or two about bass guitar techniques.

Oh, and the natural minor scale (also called the Aeolian mode) isn’t the only minor mode; there’s also the Dorian mode and Phrygian mode.

The Dorian mode is great for playing funky bass lines, and is a groovier alternative to the minor scale.

The Phrygian mode is great for playing dark-sounding bass lines and is a heavier, more metal alternative to the minor scale.

Outside of those lessons, seek out some bass lines that use the A minor scale. For example, Black Dog by Led Zeppelin has an awesome bass line in A minor.

Thanks for checking out this post, and feel free to join my Facebook group for bass players.

Keep rocking!