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This bebop scale exercise will help develop your improv jazz skills

Posted on April 23, 2009 by Sweets

A tenor sax player friend of mine back in Japan showed me this bebop scale exercise. This is not a lick, it is simply an exercise or calisthenic that will help develop your overall bebop playing. It’s very important to learn this exercise in 12 keys to really develop your technique.

Bebop Scale Exercise - Jazz lick 15

Here is a sample of the bebop exercise played on trumpet:

How to memorize the bebop exercise in 12 keys:

Notice that the exercise just starts on the tonic of whatever bebop scale you are working on. It then just goes up the the chord tones to the 11th and then down the bebop scale landing on the 3rd, 5th, b7th and tonic chord tones. After you reach the octave, the exercise just repeats itself and goes backwards landing on the , b7th, 5th, 3rd and ending on the tonic.

This is the easiest way to memorize the exercise in 12 keys. Just know that you will never go outside the bebop scale you are currently working on.

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to “This bebop scale exercise will help develop your improv jazz skills”

  1. I didn’t understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?

  2. Bryce Wosher says:

    One of my friends already told me about this place and I do not regret that I found this article.

  3. Sweets says:

    Just take it one step at a time man!

  4. Alessandro says:

    Thank you again, but i’ve a question about this exercise. How can study profitably from C# to F# without going too high in the upper register?
    have you understand what i mean?


  5. For beginners, the be-bop scale has both the b7 and the natural 7th in the scale. This extra note in the scale allows improvisors to always be landing on chord-tones when playing the scale in eighth-notes or sixteen-notesm.

    Because of the added b7 scale degree, the be-bop scale is used over dominant chords which are spelled with chord tones 1, 3, 5, b7. It is better to learn the chords on your instrument first before you learn the scales to fit the chords.

  6. Frederic says:

    My son likes music jazz. I hope he would become one of professional jazz musical instrument players. Is it difficult to become professional jazz musical instrument players?

  7. Sweets says:

    With everything there comes some sort of difficulty to over come. I hope to hear your son on a CD some day.

  8. google says:

    Hey! I simply would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you’ve gotten here on this post. I can be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  9. warona says:

    i like the bebop scales for saxophone becouse i am a saxophone player


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