First Position Major Scales
and Arpeggios

by Dave Gagnon

Here are some one-octave major scales for bass written in all twelve keys. I've also included the arpeggios, which are triads in this case, mostly because I think they are fun to play right after the scales.

Take note that all of these scales and arpeggios start in the first position of the bass. The goal here is to use open notes, whenever possible, rather than their fretted equivalents.

Go ahead and take a look at the first line of sheet music below. Underneath the letter "E" you will find an E Major Scale that takes two measures to complete. Directly after that, underneath where it says "TRIAD", you will play one measure of an E Major Arpeggio. That's really all there is to it. The next line of music will be the scale of F Major followed by the F Major Arpeggio.

Does that make sense? There will only be one scale and arpeggio per line, making it easy to take it one key at a time.








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