Octave Method for Low B : 5-String Bass
Major Scales & Arpeggios

Octave Method for 5-String Bass

eBook: Octave Method for 5-String Bass (Low B)

Fretboard navigation method for 5-string bass based on a modification of the CAGED guitar method, using octave shapes rather than open position chord shapes for ease and simplicity of use.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Book: Octave Method for Low B: 5-string bass

Fretboard navigation method for Low B : 5-string bass based on an instrument specific modification of the CAGED guitar method, using linked octave shapes rather than open position chord shapes for ease and simplicity of use.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Octave Method for Low B : 5-String Bass Paper Book


John Myung

Dream Theater logo

John Myung

Progressive Bass Concepts - 1

Progressive Bass Concepts - 2

Progressive Bass Concepts - 3

Progressive Bass Concepts - 4

Progressive Bass Concepts - 5

Progressive Bass Concepts - 6

Dream Theater - Pull me under (live)

John Myung is the 4, 5 and 6-string bass playing virtuso for Dream Theater.

Yamaha RBX6JM

Hal Leonard distribute the VHS video by John Myung called Progressive Bass Concepts

Yamaha have discontinued the production of the RBX6JM

A pentatonic minor scale box shapes for 5 string bass

The image that follows shows what Guitar Pro 6 describes as the Aeolian Pentatonic (5th mode of major pentatonic) - more commonly known as the A pentatonic minor scale. As usual this is totally indigestible by most bass players (from both a naming and presentation point of view) and needs to be broken down into more manageable chunks.

Guitar Pro 6 fingerboard

The diagram that follows shows all of the A pentatonic minor scale notes plotted over the 5-string bass's fretboard in the CAGED octaves style:-

A pentatonic minor scale note names for 5-string bass

With digestability and future utilisation in mind, i.e. playing and remembering the dam thing, the disguised CAGED octaves method for the A pentatonic minor scale box shapes on 5-string bass now follows:-

3Z1Z4Z2Z5Z3 logo

The 5-string bass CAGED octaves sequence is shown for A natural in the diagram that follows:-

5-string bass CAGED octaves A natural 		octave shapes

GuitarPro6 A natural octaves

As always a more long term solution to fretboard navigation is to see scales/arpeggios as INTERVAL shapes rather than note names - as these are universal to all scales, arpeggios and chords rather than specific to one particular root note - with this in mind the intervals for the A pentatonic minor scale are detailed below for the 5-string bass in the CAGED octaves manner:-

A pentatonic minor scale intervals for 5-string bass

The table and tabbed panel below details all five box shapes for the A pentatonic minor scale for the
5-string bass in the CAGED octaves style.


5 string bass - A pentatonic minor scale box shapes

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Guitar Pro 6 icon

Flash icon

3Zm1
4Zm1
4Zm2
5Zm2
5Zm3
3Zm1 at 12

  • 3Zm1
  • 4Zm1
  • 4Zm2
  • 5Zm2
  • 5Zm3
  • 3Zm1 at 12

GuitarPro6 3Zm1 box shape

GuitarPro6 4Zm1 box shape

GuitarPro6 4Zm2 box shape

GuitarPro6 5Zm2 box shape

GuitarPro6 5Zm3 box shape

GuitarPro6 3Zm1 box shape at 12


  • 3Zm1
  • 4Zm1
  • 4Zm2
  • 5Zm2
  • 5Zm3
  • 3Zm1 at 12

3Zm1

4Zm1

4Zm2

5Zm2

5Zm3

3Zm1 at 12


John Myung

The test that stumped them all
.................Zon Brookes

A night to remember


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