Tip #37 – Dominant Bebop Scale Uses

These series of posts are going to cover bebop scales and possible uses – so let’s jump right in.

As a quick refresher: the bebop era of jazz grew from the trends taking place during the 1930’s in the United States, but didn’t become fully developed and established till the 1940’s.  During improvisation, some players would use the convenience of these “bebop scales,” which were no more than diatonic scales with a single added chromatic passing tone in-between to push chordal tones on downbeats.

So, now let’s take a look at the dominant bebop scale:

Note that the scale degrees are | 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7-7-8 |

The dominant bebop scale can work great over V7, ii7, and vii7(b5) chords in the key. Also, ii – V progressions as well! However, experimentation is encouraged, as this is just a jumping point to start from.  Also, building creative lines using the bebop scale should NOT use EVERY SINGLE note.  Add space.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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