Tag Archives: licks

5 Easy Ways To Sound Like Bebop on a C7

The most important part of sounding like jazz, whether you play in that genre or in another, is probably to have some Bebop as a part of your playing.

This video is going to demonstrate 5 easy bebop licks on a C7 chord in a very position and quickly connect it to a scale and an arpeggio. I will go over how you can add some bebop flavour and chromatic phrases to your playing in this position.

Learning and adding to your vocabulary

Finding practical and playable solutions is essential if you want to learn something like the jazz language and this video should give you some easy to apply examples and ideas. This is also how I work and have worked with learning new material.

Keeping Bebop simple: Chord, Position, Licks

The examples I am going to cover are all found around this chord, which is C7 in the 8th fret:

which is closely related to this arpeggio.

And in that position you could think of this C7 or F major scale: 

I find that this is an area of the neck that is a good starting point if you want to add something new to your C7 vocabulary because it is very close to the chord and the Cm pentatonic scale so we have an overview already.

Chromatic Passing note idea 1

This first example is adding a chromatic note on the top E string. The melody is adding a note between the 9th and the root. From there it is a descending scale run ending with a C major triad.
Notice how the end of the phrase is no on the beat which is also typical for bop lines.

More Chromaticism and a bit of Blues

In this example I am using a longer chromatic run on the B string. On this string we already have 3 strong C7 notes: 5,13 and b7.After a short bluesy phrase with those the lick is descending from b7 to 5 in halfsteps again reconnecting with the chord by playing a descending C major triad at the end.

Pivot arpeggios and arpeggios from the 3rd

This example uses two really strong bebop concepts. First this way of using an arpeggio inversion where I am using Em7b5 in first inversion but starting with the high note and then skipping down. If you want to check out how George Benson uses this I have that in a video here.

The other example is adding a chromatic note between b7 and the root which is also extremely common.

Two note chromatic approach

Here the chromatic approach is two notes and inserted between F and E in the beginning of the lick. The rest of the line is using an Em7b5 arpeggio and ends on the root on the high e string. Again ending on the 1&

Encircling: Diatonic above, chromatic below

Encircling a chord tone with a chromatic note and a scale note is also a very common bebop melody. This example is first encircling the 5th(G) with A and F# before it continues with first the arpeggio from the 5th: Gm7 and then a C7 arpeggio.

A few closing Bebop remarks

Besides the devices I talked about in this video it is also important to remember that bebop lines are based on the chords your are playing over. This means that you want to use those chord tones as target notes and as start and ending points of your melodies when you are improvising.

If you want to explore more bebop and especially focus on the phrasing then I have this WebStore lesson with some exercises for that:

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5 easy ways to sound like bebop on a C7

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Amazing Bebop – How to play like Sonny Stitt

If you want to learn Bebop then there are few people better to check out than Sonny Stitt. In this video I transcribed and analyzed two bebop licks from his solo on Au Privave from the Stitt plays Bird. These great licks are fantastic examples to learn from and contain some solid ideas you can add to your vocabulary.

How to Learn Bebop 

Often when you work on learning bebop all your solos are just up and down scales and arpeggios. Stitt has some beautiful ways to add variation both melodic and rhythm that I will try to explain in this lesson.

On a side note it is also worthwhile checking out this album because Jim Hall is playing on it as well.

Sonny Stitt Bebop Lick #1

This first example is a clear example of how he isn’t only running up and down . The first bar is really a descending melody with D, Bb, A, G and F. But he breaks up that movement by adding a lower chord tone: D. This is similar to some of the ideas that George Benson used in the All The Things You Are line that I talked about in this video: Why George Benson lines are Amazing

On the C7 Sonny Stitt uses triplets as a variation for the 8th note lines. First a chromatic run from the 3rd(E) to the 5th(G) and then a descending C7 arpeggio.

The line ends with a short scale run from A to F.

Sonny Stitt Bebop Lick #2

The 2nd example uses a lot of similar ideas. On the Gm7 the low D is again used as a note to insert into the melody and break up the scale run. This happens twice and at the end of the Gm7 line he also adds a chromatic approach to the D.

The C7 line also makes use of the low D, but is for the rest using two arpeggios that work really well over a C7: Bbmaj7 and Eø. Both are played as ascending 8th note triplets.  I this case Stitt is suspending the resolution of the C7 and continue into the F bar with a chromatic encircling of the C, so the resolution isn’t until beat two of that bar.

The rest of the F7 line is a descending melody built around a Dm triad and flowing into another encircling of the Bb. From the Bb the line ends with an ascending Bbmaj7 arpeggio.

Applying this to your own playing

For now I will focus on adding the idea of adding notes to descending scale runs on the Gm7.

The first part of Example 3 here below is a Gm7 scale (or F major if you will) and in the 2nd half I have added lower chord tones to the descending scale run. In this example I find that it works better to use the Gm triad as lower notes, so that is what I have used. You can of course experiment and discover what you prefer. 

Example of using this concept in your own playing

The example here below is using the D pedal point idea on the Gm7. As you can see it can be placed differently in the bar without loosing its effect. I am using the low D twice on the Gm7.

The C7 line is first an ascending Eø arpeggio played as an 8th note triplet. From there it is a descending chromatic run ending up with an enclosure of the A on Fmaj7.

Adding the same idea to the dom7th chord

Adding the same type of idea to the V chord in the II V works as well. Here the Gm7 line is similar to the one above except the D,C,Bb is replaced with a chromatic passing note phrase: C B Bb. 

On the C7 the phrase starts with a descending scale rund and then adds the lower G between the D and the C. From the C I use the passing note again and then skip down to a G to approach and resolve to the 3rd(A) of F. 

Bebop lines and their construction

If you have followed any of the classes of Barry Harris then you are probably familiar with the idea of writing lines like this where you have a scale run or an arpeggio and then you add embellishments to it in the form of extra notes, chromaticism etc. This way of thinking is a great way to describe the language which is why I use it here as well.

If you want to play lines like this then it is very useful to work on construction them in this way and get the ideas into your ears in that way.

From Bop to Bach: Forward motion and Target Notes

If you want to take a closer look at one of my solos with my analysis you can check out this lesson which also includes some thoughts on how to construct solo lines, but then using forward motion and target notes:

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Amazing Bebop – How to play like Sonny Stitt

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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Bebop Jazz Guitar Licks – Classic Bebop Sound Decoded

Checking out bebop jazz guitar licks is a huge part of learning a style of music like Bebop. This also means out how to incorporate what makes them Bebop Guitar them into your playing. This would be true both for phrasing and specific arpeggios, chromatic enclosures that are being used in Bebop.

In this video I will go over 3 good examples of Bebop Jazz Licks, and then I will analyze them and talk about how they are constructed and what the building blocks of this type of jazz lick is.

The Bebop Dominant

Since the bebop style is very focused on dom7th chords I have made examples of V I progression in the key of G major. It is of course also possible to use these on a II V I in G major.

In general the people who play bebop and teach it (like Barry Harris) will focus more on the dominant than the II chord in a cadence.

Bebop Jazz Guitar Lick #1

One of the really common Bebop phrasing ideas is to use 16th note scale runs in the middle of an 8th note line to create some variation. The first example here below has this in the middle of bar 1.  The easiest way and to play this and get it to sound good in terms of phrasing is to use pull offs towards the target note.

Another very common device is using chromatic enclosures which what you see in the 2nd half of bar 1. The enclosure is used to target and emphasize the 3rd of D7 on the 1 of the 2nd bar.

The first half of the 2nd bar is in fact just a D7 arpeggio, but the line is constructed by playing a descending D7 arpeggio and then displacing the last three notes an octave. This yields a very beautiful and melodic 6th interval between the F# and the D.

At the end of the line I included a D augmented triad that nicely resolves to the 9th(A) of Gmaj7.

To practice playing the 16th note trills with legato you can take this exercise through a position of 3 notes per string major scale. I have only written out the first 3 string sets.

Bebop Jazz Guitar Lick #2

This example contains two ideas that you will find in a lot of bebop lines. The first is playing a 7th arpeggio with a triplet, which is how the line starts. In the line I am playing a descending Em7 arpeggio. 

From here the line skips back to A for a descending scale run. 

In the 2nd bar you’ll first hear a 16th note triplet trill between root and b9. This is again executed with legato. From here the line continues down the arpeggio. Inserts a leading note a half step below the 3rd of D7 and uses another octave displacement before resolving to the 3rd(B) of G

The triplet idea can be practiced in position as shown in the exercise here below. It’s an extremely good alternate picking exercise if you use that technique and will also work really well with sweeping (as I demonstrate in the video)

To work on the trill (and work on your legato technique) you can do this exercise which is taking the trill idea from the line above through a G major scale position.

Bebop Jazz Guitar Lick #3

The ascending 7th chord arpeggio with an added leading note is a very typical for bebop licks. In this example I am using that on an F#m7(b5). F#m7(b5) is the arpeggio from the 3rd of D7 and a great arpeggio to use over a D7.

 From the high E I add a chromatic leading note and make a short chromatic run before going to C on the 1 of bar 2.

The 2nd bar is first a descending Cmaj7 arpeggio that then continues to the b9(Eb) on beat 3. From here the line uses octave displacement and continues with a line to resolve to the 3rd of G, and tagging it with a G. Another trademark bebop move.

To practice the arpeggios you can of course take them through the scale. There are several ways to do this, one of them is shown here below.

Making new licks with the building blocks

The main point of this lesson is of course that you can start making your own lines that sound more like bebop. To demonstrate how you might do that I have included two bebop licks that are constructed from the ideas that I used in the first three licks.

Derived Bebop Lick #1

In this first line I start with the opening idea from Lick no 3, but now I am using it on a D7 arpeggio.  This is followed by a 16th note scale run fill as in the first example.

In bar 2 I continue with a descending scale run. This leads into the 3rd of D7 where I use the same octave displacement idea that I used in Lick no 2, only now played an octave higher.

In this way we end up with the lick shown here below:

Derived Bebop Lick #2

In the last lick I am starting with the 16th note trill idea from Lick no 1. This is followed by a scale run that leads into two arpeggios chained together, an Am7 and a F#m7(b5). The line ends with the “bebop” ending that resolves to a D and then drops down to the 9th(A)

I hope you can use these exercises and building blocks and the process to start incorporating some more bebop into your lines. Bebop is a very rich melodic language with a great amount of things you can use even in more modern bop based jazz guitar solos.

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Bebop Jazz Guitar Licks – Dominant Ideas and Analysis

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Writing Jazz Licks – The Best Way To Teach Yourself Jazz Guitar

Using the things that we licks, scales and arpeggios we practice is a big challenge! The best way to get new material in to you vocabulary is to write jazz licks with it! That way we connect the new material with all the things we already know.

In this video I am going to show you how I write jazz guitar licks on a simple II V I in Bb major.

I will try to demonstrate the process and the thinking and write a few variations of the licks. This should illustrate how I apply different things in my jazz improvisation. In the process I will write 5-6 II V I jazz licks in the key of Bb with arpeggios, chromatic enclosures and altered dominants.

The II V I progression

In this lesson the II V I that I am using is a II V I in Bb as shown below.

II Chord and the arpeggio

To keep it simple let’s start with the Cm7 arpeggio. Since the line is going to be in 8th notes we have now covered half of the bar. To fill the bar it is probably better to decide where we want to go. So that would be a target note ofn the F7.  

The clearest target note on the F7 is probably the 3rd(A), so let’s go with that one.

Cm7 licks – Target notes

Now we just have to come up with a few ideas that will take us to that A.

Here’s a simle chromatic enclosure:

You can also use a small fragment from a pentatonic scale, in this case the Gm pentatonic scale:

Another option is a Bb major scale run:

Or an enclosure that contains a few more chromatic notes but also introduces a stronger pull towards the A.

If we think of these examples as exercises in using the Cm7 arpeggio then what we are doing is that we are practicing making playable melodies that move logically to the F7 and are using the Cm7 arpeggio.

The V chord – Adding the Dom7th chord.

Now we can start using one of the lines on the Cm7 and focus on the F7 line.

In this first example I am using an Am7b5 arpeggio in inversion and then the F7 arpeggio to target the 3rd(D) of Bbmaj7.

The second example is now using a motif idea on the F7. The first part of it is still the Am7(b5) inversion. That is then treated as a motif and the 2nd part of the line is a development of that melody. The development ends up being an Eb major triad and an F.

The Altered Dominant

We can also use an F7alt. In the line below I start with a small scale movement in 3rds in the F altered (or F# melodic minor) scale. From there I am using the B major triad before I resolve to the 3rd(D) of Bbmaj7.

A different altered dominant line is what I have in example 1. The Altered idea in this line is first a skip up a minor third to Db then down the scale to Ab. From Ab I use a fragment from the Ab minor or B major pentatonic scale: Ab Gb, Eb, D. Over an F7 gives us #9, b9, b7, b13 and since it is a part of a pentatonic scale it sounds a little different. It also leads directly to D which it encircles with Eb and Db. 

In the next example I am using part of the line as a motif. This allows me to be repeating the idea in a developed version in the second hald of the bar. The motif that I use is a B7 arpeggio played descending. It is the developed by moving it up a diatonic 3rd to Db. From there it becomes a descending Ebm7b5 arepggio that then neatly resolves to D on the Bb.

You can of course also use a stack of 4ths. In this case I am using the stack of 4ths that is the top part of an F7#9 chord (see diagram in the video). The arpeggio is inserted right after the A, target note on the F7. From the last note the line continues with a descending scale run to resolve to the 3rd(D) of Bbmaj7.

Conclusion

Hopefully  you can use the things that I went over here as an inspiration for your own writing process. As I mention in the beginning, I find that making your own lines is essential in the process of internalizing new material. I aim for this lesson to show you, not only what I use but also how I think about target notes and use different strategies to come up with melodies.

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Writing Jazz Licks

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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If you want to download a free e-book with 15 II Valt I licks and explanations of how they are made then just sign up here and receive a download link via e-mail once you confirm your subscription!

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About the book

The E-book has a few different approaches to making altered dominant lines and I explain how I the licks are constructed. In the explanations I go over the arpeggios and melodic ideas are explained. This should help you get started writing your own II V I licks with altered dominants!

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How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio

This lesson came about from a conversation I had on twitter. I wanted to try to demonstrate how it is more important to be able to use simple arpeggios and other structures than knowing a lot of exotic scales or arpeggios. Because the good a lot of goods melodies can be made with very simple structures. This is why I took one arpeggio and used that in 10 II V I licks.

The Arpeggio

So as I mentioned the point of this is to demonstrate how you can put a fairly basic structure like a Gm7 arpeggio over a Gm7 chord to use and make a lot of melodies without substitutions or exotic scales. What I set out to do was to use this arpeggio in 10 II V I licks in F and not repeat myself. Here’s the arpeggio:

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - the arp

The II V I licks

The first line is trying to show a very basic way of using the root position arpeggio in a line. The Gm7 transitions into the C7 with a chromatic approach of the third of C(E). From there it continues in a melody mae with the Em7b5 arpeggio before it with a chromatic passing note resolves to the 3rd of F(A).

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 1

In the 2nd line the arpeggio is played in a sequence and from the 7th is linked to a descending Dm7 arpeggio. On the C7 I used the altered scale and the line is based around a Bbm7b5 arpeggio with some diatonic passing notes. You can filter out the Bbm7b5 by looking at the notes on the beat. It resolves via the #9 and b9 of C to the 5th of F(C).

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 2

The 3rd example is using a descending Gm7 arpeggio from the 3rd and continues with a Bb major “Coltrane” pattern. The whole line on the Gm7 is contained in the Gm pentatonic scale. On the C7alt chord the line is using the Ebm pentatonic scale and basically repeating the pattern on the Gm7, before resolving to the 5th of F(C).

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 3

Now that we have had both ascending, descending and a sequence of the Gm7 arpeggio the 4th example is using a more freely moving melody with the arpeggio. The line moves from the 5th via the 7th and down to the root. From there it ascends up the sale and continues into a C7alt line that is based on a DbmMaj9 arpeggio. As you probably know Dbm Melodic is the same scale as C7 altered. The altered line is resolved via a smalle scale run with a chromatic passing note, and ends on the 5th(C) of F.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 4

In example 5 a similar melody is made with the Gm arpeggio, this time using it as a Gm7 shell voicing and then down the arpeggio to the 3rd(Bb). From there the melody skips up a major 7th to an A and descends down the scale. On the dominant the line is first two 3rds in the altered scale and then a line around the Dbm triad that resolves to the 5th of F.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 5

Example 6 demonstrates a very common way to use arpeggios in bebop is to place a chromatic leading note before the root and play the arpeggio as an 8th note triplet with the 7th as target. From there the line descends down the scale which somehow resolves the tension of the fast moving triplet. On the dominant the line is build around a sequence of the Gb7 dominant arpeggio that resolves to the 5th(C) of F.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 6

The 7th example is using the basic four note arpeggio descending from 7th to root. This is followed by a Dsus4 triad arpeggio which then moves to a a very clean sounding mixolydian line over the C7, consisting of two scale runs. The line resolves to the 7th(E) of Fmaj7.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 7

In example 8 the Gm7 line emphasizes the Bb major triad for the first part of the bar, but after that it is a descending Gm7 arpeggio ending in an encircling of the 3rd(E) of C7. On the C7 the line is using the diminished scale. First a C7 arpeggio and then an Amajor triad, which together spells out a C7(13b9) sound.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 8

Using an arpeggio is not only just playing the notes of the arpeggio, it can also be a emphasizing those notes within another melody. Example 9 is doing just that where it starts whith a scale run from G to D with the arpeggio notes on beats 1 to 3. The melody on the C7 is made using the triad pair Gb and Ab diatonic to the C7alt scale.This way of using two triads with no common notes to make lines is something I plan to make lessons on in the future. It can   be used quite effectively to make some nice lines. In this example the line is using Ab, Gb and then two notes of an Ab triad before resolving to the 5th of F.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 9

The final example is starting out with a sequence in the higher octave of the arpeggio. After that it is strictly descending from the 5th to the 3rd an octave lower. The line on the C7alt is infact the exact same movement but then with a Gb7 arpeggio, which is the tritone sub of C7. The line resolves to the 5th of Fmaj7.

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio - ex 10

I hope that by demonstrating a few different approaches for making melodies with the Gm7 arpeggio you get some new ideas to expand your own vocabulary. Working on stuff like this is for me often a good way to get some new melodic ideas. I think it’s possible that I get more from lifting concepts like these of a transcription than actually studying the solo that is transcribed.

As always you can download the examples as a PDF here:

How to make 10 II V I licks with a Gm7 arpeggio

I hope that you liked the lesson. If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.