Knowing and applying bass guitar scales has many advantages. It will allow you to jam with a band very easily, create your own music, strengthen your fingers, explore different genres of music, allow your music to convey emotion and ultimately allow your playing to advance very quickly.
When you can play bass guitar scales you can very easily jam with a band simply by knowing what key they are playing in. This means you can improvise in most situations very easily, as you know exactly what notes are available to you.
By knowing bass guitar scales it is easy to compose music because you already know how certain scales will sound. You won’t need to experiment with various notes to know which ones give you the desired effect. This opens up your creative and expressive channels and lets you to apply the scale rather than experimenting with different sounding notes to give you a desired effect.
By using various bass guitar scales you can easily convey emotion with your bass playing. For example to create a darker sound you will likely know that the many minor scales will have this effect on your audience. To convey a happy, bright feel, you will already know that the major third found in, but not limited to the Ionian and Lydian modes will help convey this feeling. Thus by understanding how the different intervals contained in scales sound and feel, you can use this to customise your sound and message.
By learning bass guitar scales and repeating them, you will strengthen your fingers and embed the scale pattern in your playing and memory. Over time, your playing will get easier and easier, as your fingers will eventually fall into the scale shape patterns with little effort. You will see your playing become more enjoyable and relaxed as your fingers naturally know where the right notes sit.
By applying various bass guitar scales you can easily focus in on the sound of different genres or styles of music. As an example, you may choose to learn the minor pentatonic scale if you are interested in blues or rock music, or you may learn the Phrygian dominant mode if you would like to add some Spanish or eastern “flavour” to your music. Distinct scales are often associated with certain genres and styles of music, by knowing the different scales you can greatly add to the diversity of your sound.
So there you have it, by learning bass guitar scales your playing will advance rapidly in many different ways. Even by learning just a few scales relevant to the type of music you are interested in and knowing how to change the key of these scales will open up many avenues to your bass guitar playing.