Bebop Melody Lesson 2 : Donna Lee [BML2]

Donna Lee was the first bebop melody I learned (when I was 16) and it made my melodic and harmonic depth (as well as my general technique – trying to get it up to ‘bebop’ tempo) improve in leaps and bounds. In this video I break down some preferred fingerings (you can see the attached transcription sheet with the entire melody transcribed in notation with TAB) and I also look at parts of the melody I found to be particularly important in terms of the relationship between melody and chords. Parker had a wonderful habit of writing and improvising lines … [Read more...]


Bebop Melody Lesson 1: Billies Bounce [BML1]

JGL Bebop Melody Lesson 1 – Billies Bounce (Blurb) Here we examine a 12 bar blues melody by Charlie Parker. I wanted to study his melodies because ofthe melodic and rhythmic interest he generates in his linear structure, often using extensions as target notes (in both higher and lower registers), displacement (as evidenced in the first four bars of this melody and in many other Parker heads), enclosure (where the target note is ‘enclosed by a higher and lower note), chromaticism (target note is approached by a semitone) and many other ‘jazz-isms’ that have become staple concepts in … [Read more...]


Lesson 18: Bebop Scale [CL18]

As discussed in the core lesson, bebop scales are heptatonic (7 note) scales with an additional chromatic tone inserted between two existing scale tones. So without altering the function of the original scale (i.e. if it is major, it stays major), a new 8-note scale is created. The purpose of a bebop scale is basically twofold: 1. When an improviser is playing consecutive 8th notes in 4/4 time, the bebop scale resolves to the tonic in both ascending and descending form, having 8 notes in each octave, played one note per quaver (8th note). 2. The stronger tones rhythmically anchor … [Read more...]