In today’s jazz scale lesson we’re going to explore a very sweet jazz scale.
You’ll be able to add it into your playing right away when we’re done.
This powerful scale is known as the dominant bebop scale.
This 8 note scale can actually can be thought of as a chord and a scale at the same time if you use it properly. Pretty interesting concept right?
This is a follow up lesson to our major bebop scale lesson. (video lesson, tips, and notation below.)
Let’s learn how to add this scale into your jazz improvisation right now!
The Dominant Bebop Scale Action Plan
To get started learning first watch the video below so you can best understand how to use this jazz scale and hear it in action.
Then scroll down and check out the notation and extra tips!
Jazz Scale Theory
The passing note makes all the difference! Keep reading to learn how to use it effectively.
7 Bebop Scale And Jazz Improvisation Concepts
1. This scale is essentially the mixolydian mode with 1 chromatic passing note between scale degrees b7 and 1.
2. A measure of 4/4 has 8 eighth notes in it. The mixolydian mode has 7 notes in it. Bebop scales have 8 notes.
3. By adding this chromatic passing note, bebop scales will always have chord tones happening on the strong beats (beats 1, 2, 3, 4).
4. Passing notes happen on the off beats (the &’s of the beat).
5. You can also use this scale over the II and V chords in a II-V-I chord progressions (2-5-1).
6. So, in the key of G you could play a D dominant bebop scale over the Amin7 and D7 chords
if the chord progressions was Amin7 -D7 – Gmaj7.
7. Check out about 2/3 of the way through the video where I demonstrated the dominant bebop scale over a II-V-I chord progression.
Notice how it almost sounds like a lick? Pretty cool right? There are so many little permutations of vocabulary you can get out of the scale too.
Using This Scale In Other Styles Of Music
One of the cool things about the dominant bebop scale is that it’s found it’s way in other styles of music too. Here are just a few places you can find this scale being used.
- You could also play this scale over a 1 chord dominant groove. For example, if you were soloing on a James Brown tune.
(James Brown will often times hang out on a dominant 7th chord for extended periods of time so this scale is a perfect fit.)
- You can even hear this dominant bebop scale in the playing of many jam bands.
- I’m talking about guys like Trey Anastasio from Phish, Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead. They sound great!
- The jam band guys tend to use the bebop scale playing over modal type chord progressions.
- You’ll also hear this scale being used in bluegrass music too.
More Jazz Scale Resources
- If you want to learn more about some advanced jazz scales I recommend you check out this altered scale lesson.
If you need more of a refresher I also have a whole lesson where I teach more about the mixolydian mode and major chord scales.
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