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E Major Scale Bass Positions And Theory Explained

Learn how to play the E major scale on bass guitar with our comprehensive guide. With these E major scale bass positions you’ll improve your bass playing skills and expand your fretboard knowledge.

This is an E Major Scale Bass Lesson.

In this lesson you’ll learn:

  • How to play the scale
  • The notes in the scale
  • Multiple ways to visualize the E Major scale on the fretboard

The E major scale is one of the most commonly used scales on bass guitar due to the instrument’s open low E string and the popularity of its sound in rock music.

Let’s look at the scale.

E major scale bass fretboard diagram (showing intervals)

These are the intervals for the E major bass scale. Understanding the intervals of the major scale will help you memorize the E major scale and all other major scales on the bass guitar.

Also, take note of the fact that the E major scale has the same notes as the C# minor scale. This is because the C# minor scale is the relative minor of E major.

Both of these scales are important to know.

E Major Scale Bass Fretboard Diagram with Intervals

E Major Scale One Octave Bass Fingering

E Major Scale One Octave Bass Shape

Notes in the E major scale

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

Chords in the E major scale

Understanding the chords in the E major scale is vital for composition, accompaniment, and improvisation.

E MajorF# MinorG# MinorA MajorB MajorC# MinorEb Dim.
E Maj.7F# Min.7G# Min.7A Maj.7B7C# Min. 7Eb Min.7b5

Chords in the E Major scale, organized diatonically

E major scale bass: All positions

Now that you’ve learned how the E major scale is constructed, and looked at a fretboard diagram showing the intervals across the bass neck, it’s time to learn all 7 e major scale shapes individually.

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

Position 1

E major scale bass position 1 (3 Notes-Per-String)

Position 2

E major scale bass position 2 (3 Notes-Per-String)

Position 3

E major scale bass position 3 (3 Notes-Per-String)

Position 4

E major scale bass position 4 (3 Notes-Per-String)

Position 5

E major scale bass position 5 (3 Notes-Per-String)

Position 6

E major scale bass position 6 (3 Notes-Per-String)

Position 7

E major scale bass position 7 (3 Notes-Per-String)

E Major scale bass all positions audio

E major scale bass tab PDF

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve learned the e major bass scale, you can move onto applying the scale. I suggest doing this by learning songs in the key of E major, as well as improvising or composing with the scale.

Here’s a great E major backing track for jamming.

From here you can learn other important bass scale shapes and theory, such as these G major bass shapes and these bass guitar techniques.

Lastly, check out these must-have bass guitar accessories. After all, the right bass guitar accessories can improve your playing and bass tone, which will make your E major scale sound better and more precise.

Rock on!