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#1128091 - 11/24/06 11:21 PM The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1564
"Later codifications of bebop harmony emerged, notably in the teachings of pianist/educator Barry Harris, who encouraged players to learn "bebop scales" for improvising such as the Bebop Dominant 7th Scale (1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7) and the Bebop Major Scale (1 2 3 4 5 #5 6 7). A feature of these scales is that when they are played in 8ths, up or down, players automatically play a tone featured in the corresponding chord on every 4/4 beat. These scales are often disguised by playing them through segments of an octave, changing direction on chord tones, or enclosing chord tones with a chromatic tone above and below the chord tone. Both of these techniques allow the improviser to embellish the bebop scale without sacrificing the effect of chord tones on every 4/4 beat."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bebop
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1128092 - 11/24/06 11:33 PM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1564
Here is a small excerpt from jazz pianist Hal Galper's article on "Understanding Forward Motion" which touches on bebop scale theory.

"During this period I bought the album "Everybody Digs Bill Evans." The title came from the fact that the album cover was filled with testimonials from great jazz musicians about Bill's playing. Cannonball's testimonial hit a nerve. He said: Bill's melodic lines sound like the best possible lines that could have been played at the moment." Wow! If what Cannon said was true, this meant that there were reasons why some lines sound better than others. Wanting to play the best possible melodies lines myself, I began my research by trying to analyze and understand how to use "one" of the bar. I started with a series of questions and answers.

What defines a 'best possible line?'

Answer: A line that is strong.

What defines a strong line?

Answer: A line that spells out the chord changes, either basic or superimposed.

How are chord changes spelled out by melodic lines?

Using the system of Tension and Release analysis the obvious became clear:

Answer: By synchronizing the strong beats of the bar with the strong tones of a chord scale.

The Release beats of a bar ("one" & "three" and the "on" beats of every quarter note) are the strong beats for the bar. The Tension beats of the bar ( "two" & "four" and the "ands" of each quarter note) are the weak beats of the bar.

The Release tones of a chord scale are the root, third, fifth & seventh. They are the strong tones of the chord scale.The non-chord tones are the weak tones.

Note: When analyzing alterations of a chord scale: 9, b9, #9, 11, #11, b13, etc. the notes that fall on the release beats will be found to be either the root, third & fifth of a superimposed triad. For example: The c# on a c7 can be called a b9. In FM, it could be called the third of an A triad.

Because they are the stronger beats and tones of the bar, the "on" beats of the bar and the chord tones have a natural emphasis within them that are enhanced when synchronized. They then spell out changes. When chord tones (basic or superimposed) are synchronized with the "on" beats of the bar, the chord changes are being "spelled out" by the melodic line. The melodies become so strong that even without a chord being played behind them, you can hear the movement of the chords as they progress through a tune.

For example: Every musician knows that the F major scale is common to the II-V-I of the key of F. Many beginning improvisers use this understanding to improvise scale wise. They realize that as long as the piano or guitar player is playing the G-7- C7-Fmaj., they can just run the scale and sound more or less like they are improvising in the key. However as soon as the accompanying chords are removed from the background, the melodies sound weak because they are un-synchronized. "

"ARTICLE" CONTINUES AT:
http://www.halgalper.com/
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1128093 - 11/25/06 12:28 AM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
Interesting theory, but speaking as someone who has transcribed, analyzed, and played countless improvised choruses from bebop and straight ahead jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Lennie Tristano, Bud Powell, Wynton Kelly, Dizzy Gillespie, etc., etc., I would be extremely hesitant to subsrcibe to this specific, generalized, pidgeon-holed train of theoretical thought.

Certainly, each player has his own gravitational tendencies with regards to phrasing and contour, but I can't conceive of any single scalar configuration that would typically qualify as a "be-bop" scale.

Be-bop improvisation is based on tunes with a diversity of chord changes. These changes occur at a rate of between 1 to 2 changes per bar on average with toanl centers that change as well about every 3rd or 4th bar. These tonal center changes account for most of what is being talked about here. The addition of chromaticism incorporated within the diatonic scale/tonal centers within the melodic line where these tonal center changes occur for smooth voice leading.

Most of the soloing of mainstream be-bop players is strongly based on the same major, natural and melodic minor scales prevalent throughtout Western Classicism, if anything, the greatest difference inherent in the "sound" of the stretches due to the dynamic phrasing which shapes the lines, and the push on the second of each eight note, played more like the first and last notes of an eight note triplet.

Try it. Play the subject of any Bach invention in the right hand against a walking bass. Play the connected eights with a "push", the second eight note of each pair as you would play the third eight note of an eighth note triplet. Also experiment by accenting that second pushed eight note! That will give your standard Bach lines, which are almost exclusively based on the three major and minor scales, a bebop feel.

The notes specifically, have very little to do with bebop, just as the choice of colors of paint, have very little to do with the differences between different creators in the art world in diffrent eras. Blue is blue. Red is red. It's what the artist brings to the canvas that determines the style. The manner in which he paints that differentiates a Van Gogh from a Pollack. The differences between paint and canvases used is a moot point compared to what's on them.

Same with the differences between the notes of identified scales, like this "bebop-scale" that the writer is talking about. The notes are the same ones used regularly, by a plethora of musicians in a vast diversity of styles and genres. Bebop is how you approach the piano, and has far more to do with phrasing, the way you "speak" at your instrument, rather than the materials utilized.
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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#1128094 - 11/25/06 02:27 AM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1564
Excerpt from "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine:

"The bebop scales are traditional scales (the Ionian, Dorian, and Mixolydian modes of the major scale, and the melodic minor scale) with an added chromatic passing note. Play a traditional descending C7 Mixolydian scale over a C7 chord. Rhytmically, this sounds rather clunky, because the chord tones (root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th) are played in awkward places in the bar. The root is played on the first beat, but the Bb(the 7th) is played on the "and" of the first beat, G(the 5th) is played on the "and" of the second beat, and E(the 3rd) is played on the "and" of the third beat.

Now play a descending C bebop dominant scale over a C7 chord (C B Bb A G F E D C). Hear the difference? The C bebop dominant scale sounds rhytmically much smoother than the C Mixolydian mode. The reason is very simple. The chord tones of the C bebop domninant scale are played on the beat. C(the root), E(the 3rd), G(the 5th), and Bb(the 7th) are all played on the beats of the bar. The non-chord tones D(the 9th), F(11th), and A(13th) are all played off the beat. Even though the context is a melodic line, playing chord tones on the beat accentuates the harmony of the C7 chord.

The bebop scales were an evolutionary step forward from traditional seven-note scales such as Ionian, Dorian, Mixolydian and melodic minor scales. Louis Armstrong was playing bebop dominant scales as early as 1927 and can be heard playing a Bb7 bebop dominant scale during his solo on "Hotter Than That." Bebop scales were occasionally played by jazz musicians in the 1930s, but they didn't become an every day part of the jazz language until the 1940's. All bebop scales have an added chromatic passing note, transforming them from their seven-note origin into eight-note scales.

In David Baker's words, adding chromatic passing notes to traditional scales make the scales rhythmically "come out right."

You can add chromatic passing notes to any scale or mode, but the most commonly played bebop scales are the bebop dominant, the bebop major, the bebop Dorian, and the bebop melodic minor."

__________________________________

There are countless examples of bebop scale licks on recordings, here are just a few:

Parker used a descending Ab major bebop scale over a I VI in the first 2 meausres of "Donna Lee".

John Coltrane played a descending Bb7 bebop scale over a ii V in measure 8 of the first and fourth choruses of his Giant Steps solo.

Miles played descending Eb major bebop in bar 31 of his solo on Four.

Sonny Rollins played descending Eb7 dominant bebop scale over a ii V in bars 17 and 18 of his solo on Airegin.

Gene Ammons played F Dorian bebop scale over F-7 in bar 9 on Miss Lucy.

Joe Henderson played a F bebop dominant over F7 on Lee Morgan's "Totem Pole".

Freddie Hubbard played Ab bebop dominant over Ab7 in "Your My Everything".

Freddie Hubbard played F bebop dominant over F7 on his tune "For Spee's Sake".

Coltrane playe numerous descending bebop dominant scales on his "Lazy Bird".

Sonny Stitt played F bebop dominant over a ii V on "Eternal Triangle".

Coleman Hawkins played F melodic minor bebop over F minor in his tune "Night Hawk".
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1128095 - 11/25/06 07:25 AM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
Excerpt from "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine:

"The bebop scales are traditional scales (the Ionian, Dorian, and Mixolydian modes of the major scale, and the melodic minor scale) with an added chromatic passing note. Play a traditional descending C7 Mixolydian scale over a C7 chord. Rhytmically, this sounds rather clunky, because the chord tones (root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th) are played in awkward places in the bar. The root is played on the first beat, but the Bb(the 7th) is played on the "and" of the first beat, G(the 5th) is played on the "and" of the second beat, and E(the 3rd) is played on the "and" of the third beat.

Now play a descending C bebop dominant scale over a C7 chord (C B Bb A G F E D C). Hear the difference? The C bebop dominant scale sounds rhytmically much smoother than the C Mixolydian mode. The reason is very simple. The chord tones of the C bebop domninant scale are played on the beat. C(the root), E(the 3rd), G(the 5th), and Bb(the 7th) are all played on the beats of the bar. The non-chord tones D(the 9th), F(11th), and A(13th) are all played off the beat. Even though the context is a melodic line, playing chord tones on the beat accentuates the harmony of the C7 chord.

The bebop scales were an evolutionary step forward from traditional seven-note scales such as Ionian, Dorian, Mixolydian and melodic minor scales. Louis Armstrong was playing bebop dominant scales as early as 1927 and can be heard playing a Bb7 bebop dominant scale during his solo on "Hotter Than That." Bebop scales were occasionally played by jazz musicians in the 1930s, but they didn't become an every day part of the jazz language until the 1940's. All bebop scales have an added chromatic passing note, transforming them from their seven-note origin into eight-note scales.

In David Baker's words, adding chromatic passing notes to traditional scales make the scales rhythmically "come out right."

You can add chromatic passing notes to any scale or mode, but the most commonly played bebop scales are the bebop dominant, the bebop major, the bebop Dorian, and the bebop melodic minor."

__________________________________

There are countless examples of bebop scale licks on recordings, here are just a few:

Parker used a descending Ab major bebop scale over a I VI in the first 2 meausres of "Donna Lee".

John Coltrane played a descending Bb7 bebop scale over a ii V in measure 8 of the first and fourth choruses of his Giant Steps solo.

Miles played descending Eb major bebop in bar 31 of his solo on Four.

Sonny Rollins played descending Eb7 dominant bebop scale over a ii V in bars 17 and 18 of his solo on Airegin.

Gene Ammons played F Dorian bebop scale over F-7 in bar 9 on Miss Lucy.

Joe Henderson played a F bebop dominant over F7 on Lee Morgan's "Totem Pole".

Freddie Hubbard played Ab bebop dominant over Ab7 in "Your My Everything".

Freddie Hubbard played F bebop dominant over F7 on his tune "For Spee's Sake".

Coltrane playe numerous descending bebop dominant scales on his "Lazy Bird".

Sonny Stitt played F bebop dominant over a ii V on "Eternal Triangle".

Coleman Hawkins played F melodic minor bebop over F minor in his tune "Night Hawk". [/b]
In these latter cases, picking any one particular scalar formation that a particular player might have played in any one particular tune at any one point as a basis for theoretical constructon of a bebop "scale" in theory, is a vast generalization.

Listen to and analyze any 1000+ note, 3 to 4 chorus improvisation of the more creative be-bop players and you will hear major scales, major scales with added passing tones (chromatic scales), melodic minor scales and melodic minor scales with added chromatic passing tones (chromatic scales), natural minor scales and natural minor scales with added passing tones (chromatic scales), harmonic minor scales and harmonic scales with added passing tones (chromatic scales), diminished scales and diminished scales with added passing tones (chromatic scales). In other words, due to passing tones and an individual player's harmonic conception of the changes (substitute and added passing chords), c-h-r-o-m-a-t-c-i-s-m.

In bebop, it's the sound itself, the feel that dictates the melodic course which is highly subject to chromaticism, not the rules and regulations of traditional scales and modes that generate that particular genre's signature sound.

Analyze any of the extended solos of the bebop greats mentioned. Stitt, Trane (not primarily a bebop player!), Rollins (not primarily a bebop player), Hubbard (not primarily a bebop player), Parker, etc., etc.

Over 3 and 4 chours solos, you will hear an equal mixture of melodic minor, harmonic minor, natural minor, major, and diminished scale usage from song to song. It has more to do with the way a player propagates and ends his stretches, his particular signature, than conciously making a scalar selection at any one given point.
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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#1128096 - 11/25/06 05:41 PM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1564
"virtuosic1" you are a fine player and you really know your stuff. I tend to agree with almost everything you say. And yes, it is hard to find examples of masters requently using the bebop scales and half the time their chord tones are not aligned on the beats. I agree that maintaining chord tones on the beat is a "pidgeon-holed" approach to improv...but I still like practicing the approach \:\) . At first I found it frustrating and annoying practicing keeping chord tones on the beats, but it got easier. I use as lot of enclosures on 4+ to target some chord tone of the next chord change. And during "practice" the chord tone alignments give my melodic lines a srong harmonic outline. Of course when it's really time to improvise and create, I dim the intellectual systems in my mind and rely on my ears, imagination, and instincts.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1128097 - 11/25/06 07:35 PM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
"virtuosic1" you are a fine player and you really know your stuff. I tend to agree with almost everything you say. And yes, it is hard to find examples of masters requently using the bebop scales and half the time their chord tones are not aligned on the beats. I agree that maintaining chord tones on the beat is a "pidgeon-holed" approach to improv...but I still like practicing the approach \:\) . At first I found it frustrating and annoying practicing keeping chord tones on the beats, but it got easier. I use as lot of enclosures on 4+ to target some chord tone of the next chord change. And during "practice" the chord tone alignments give my melodic lines a srong harmonic outline. Of course when it's really time to improvise and create, I dim the intellectual systems in my mind and rely on my ears, imagination, and instincts. [/b]
Thank you for that compliment! And well said on the rest! I have my beginning students drill on the major, the three minor, and the diminished scales with a multituide of different fingerings, then use these scales exclusively for their formative improvisational training based on the original chords and melodies of standard, 32 bar Tin-Pan-Alley tunes, of course all slowed down to a crawl. It gives them a foundation for controlled motivic expansion at a manageable tempo, with the emphasis on constant control. This "control practice" must have restrictions and set parameters, and this is where culling material from those 5 scale types comes in, otherwise with chromaticism introduced too soon, confusion and lack of complete control reigns, especially as the student begins to work with incremetally progressive tempos and more notes per bar. You're 100% correct when you write about dimming the intellectual systems when practice ends and the real music begins. Many get so caught up in their training, the practiced scales and practiced repetitive sequences (cliches), that they can't switch out of practice mode and make their training work on a subconscious level.

There's one major, major element here that isn't often discussed, and I can't stress this enough. Listening. Can you imagine learning a foreign language from a book and relying from phoenetic spellings to provide you with command of pronunciation without ever hearing the words spoken by someone who has mastered the language or a native of that language?

Even something as simple as "Como esta usted?" could be pronounced many different ways. We've all heard that 3 word phrase probnounced correctly by someone speaking Spanish, so we know how it should sound, but I wonder how many would pronounce it correctly the first time from am instructive Spanish manual?

It's the same with music. There's no substitue for listening. Musicians, especially aspiring jazz musicians should do at least as much listening as they do playing to acquire the "missing link".

The "missing link" is that which binds all of the great players mentioned above. Trane, Ammons, Miles, Bird, Dizzy, etc., etc.. These players have one overriding, prevailing common element that authors, failing to make a convincing argument to unite them through theory, never really touch on:

They all listened to each other.

They didn't study jazz theory books and treatises on Lydian modes, they studied each other. Miles studied under and listened to Bird and Diz. Bird listened to Lester Young and Johnny Hodges. Trane studied under Miles, as did dozens of other great players, etc., etc. And by studied, I don't mean grabbed a few records and transcribed them. I mean was right there in the same room with them, on the same stage. The greats became great because they were immersed in bebop, not "bebop scales". They lived and breathed bebop and spoke it's language, the specific notes secondary. It was a feel, and they learned that feel by being in close proximity to the ones that came before them.
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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#1128098 - 11/29/06 10:14 AM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
donpipon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Argentina
 Quote:
Originally posted by virtuosic1:
. Play the subject of any Bach invention in the right hand against a walking bass. Play the connected eights with a "push", the second eight note of each pair as you would play the third eight note of an eighth note triplet. Also experiment by accenting that second pushed eight note! That will give your standard Bach lines, which are almost exclusively based on the three major and minor scales, a bebop feel.
[/b]
You mean like Jethro Tull's version of J.S.Bach BoureƩ ?
_________________________
"You are what you listen to..."

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#1128099 - 11/30/06 11:56 AM Re: The "Bebop Scale" and chord tone alignment
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by donpipon:
You mean like Jethro Tull's version of J.S.Bach BoureƩ ? [/b]
Haven't heard Tull's version. I'll download it as soon as I can figure out what went wrong with my media programs!
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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