Learn Bebop scales part 2

Here is  Learn Bebop scales part 2. This is an extract from my book ‘How To Solo.’. It is the 4th in the series of my eBooks Learn Jazz Piano.

You can purchase all books by clicking here.

In my previous blog I illustrated the Bebop Dominant scale in C. Take another look before continuing.

Fig 45

C bebop dominate scale
Bebop Dominant scale of C


The Dorian mode is usually associated with minor 7 chords.

To transform the Dorian mode into the bebop Dorian scale, we insert our chromatic passing note between steps 3 and 4.

For reasons that will soon become apparent, I’m illustrating this scale in G.

Fig 46

dorian bebop scale
Dorian bebop scale

Now compare the C bebop dominant scale: fig 45 (see above) with the G bebop dorian scale (fig 46) and you will notice that these two bebop scales share the same passing note.

Their respective chords are Gmin7 and C7: II – V.

We can therefore employ the same notes to play any II – V phrase.

Fig 47

Two bebop scales
II-V sequence

Learn bebop scale: melodic minor 

By adding one extra note to a scale, more bebop scales can be created.

Add a note between 5 and 6 of the melodic minor to create the bebop melodic minor.

Fig 48

learn jazz piano bebop scales
Bebop melodic minor scale

half diminished

In order to create a bebop scale to fit a half diminished chord (min7(5)), use the minor bebop scale 3 half steps up from that chord.

Fig 49

C minor bebop
bebop half diminished scale

There is much debate as to which note to add when playing these scales. There’s something to be said for the argument that if a minor7 chord is functioning as a II, then adding a note between 7 and 8 (rather than 3 and 4) results in more chord tones occurring on downbeats.

Fig 50

The added note to your scale
minor chord options

If you wish to look further into this subject I would recommend David Baker’s How To Play Bebop.

So I advise you to start to learn bebop scales. They are easy and will improve your solos.

I have now produced all 31 video lessons of my Learn Jazz Piano course. You can find them by clicking here.

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