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How to play a jazz guitar line using the dominant bebop scale ?

The dominant bebop scale /

When you want to improvise over a dominant 7th chord (and all extended dominant chords), playing the dominant bebop scale is a good alternative to the common tricks like the dominant 7th arpeggio, pentatonic scale or mixolydian mode. This is surely the most played of the bebop scales.

Unlike the mixolydian mode (also called "dominant scale") the dominant bebop scale is an octonic scale, it contains eight notes, in comparison to the dominant scale it has a major seventh (additional note) between the minor seventh and the root:

Dominant bebop scale formula :

Root, second, major third, fourth, fifth, sixth, minor seventh, major seventh.

Therefore the D dominant bebop scale contains the following notes : D-E-F#-G-A-B-C-C#.  "C#" is the passing tone (major seventh)  between the minor seventh "C" and the root "D".

The lick /

D dominant bebop jazz guitar lick with tab

This lick starts with the minor seventh (C). You can notice the presence of the major seventh (C#) from the D bebop dominant scale on bar 2 and an additional passing tone (A#) on bar four.

You will find a F#m7b5 arpeggio at the end of the third measure (beat four) and the begining of the fourth (beat one). Also called "half diminished" this arpeggio is constructed with the four following notes ( F# - A - C - E ). 

You can also play this lick over a Am7 chord or why not over a II - V chord progression : Am7 | % | D7 | % |

RELATED LESSONS

Dominant bebop scale | Guitar fretboard diagrams & fingerings

Mixolydian mode | Guitar diagrams & fingerings

Dominant jazz guitar licks 

Half diminished guitar arpeggios | Diagrams & fingerings


 

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