Bebop Guitar Licks With Powerful Arpeggio Hack

One thing that is very typical for Bebop Guitar licks is how they use pivot techniques on arpeggios to get some beautiful melodic large intervals into the line. In this video I will show 4 examples on using pivot technique in jazz licks with a strong bebop flavour and give you a way to use this in your own solos.

The II V I Progression

The examples in this progression are on a II V I in D major, so that’s Em7, A7 and Dmaj7. In the licks I am using an A7alt, mostly to have some variation in the sound going through the lick.

Bebop Guitar
II V I cadence

The Gmaj7 arpeggio and the inversions

The examples in this lesson are all using a Gmaj7 arpeggio and it’s inversions on the Em7 chord in the cadence. I will use the Gmaj to demonstrate how to use the different inversions with the pivot technique to create some solid jazz licks with a strong bebop flavour.

1st inversion and 1st example.

This 1st example is starting with the Gmaj7 arpeggio. The 1st inversion has G as the first note which makes it nice and clear on the Em7.

The idea behind the pivot technique is that the highest note of the arpeggio is played first, then the melody skips down to the lowest note to ascend back up. This is a very common melodic device in bebop guitar.

The A7alt part of the line makes use of the same technique but here it is with a 1st inversion BbmMaj7 arpeggio in the first half of the bar.

Bebop Jazz Lick
Guitar II V I jazz lick

Repeat the success from the 5th

The 2nd example uses the 3rd inversion of the Gmaj7 arpeggio. The arpeggio is again placed in the beginning of the line and is now chained together with a quartal arpeggio. On the A7 the first part of the line is a descending pattern played through a Gm7b5 arpeggio. The line then resolves to the 3rd(F#) of Dmaj7. 

Mixing scales and arpeggios

The 3rd example starts with a scale run from the root. The 2nd inversion of the Gmaj7 arpeggio. The 6th interval is found between the B and the D. The A7 line is chaining an A augmented and Eb major triad.

Even from the root

The root position arpeggio is different from the rest since using the pivot here does not yield a 6th interval, but instead it is a 7th. In this example the Gmaj7 continues into a quartal arpeggio from E. The A7alt line is two inversions of a Bbsus4 arpeggio, a line that I actually transcribed from Michael Brecker.

Pivoting yourself! True Bebop Guitar

The four examples in this lesson should give you some ideas on how to start using arpeggio inversions in this way when making your own lines. It probably will still take a bit of work to get it to really sit in your playing but as you can probably tell that is probably worth the time!

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Arpeggio Inversions

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