The Dominant Bebop Scale | Guitar Fretboard Diagrams, Patterns and Licks

What's the dominant bebop scale

The dominant bebop scale aka Mixolydian bebop scale is an eight note scale (octatonic). It has the same notes as the Mixolydian scale including a chromatic passing tone, a major seventh, between the minor seventh (b7) and the root (1). The formula of the dominant bebop scale is root (1), second (2), major third (3), perfect fourth (4), perfect fifth (5), sixth (6), minor seventh (b7) and seventh (7).

Dominant bebop scale formula and comparison with the Mixolydian scale

G Dominant bebop scale G A B C D E F F#
G dominant Mixolydian scale G A B C D E F X
Formulas 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7

 

What's the particularity of the dominant bebop scale

The particularity of all the bebop scales is that they contain eight notes, they belong to the octatonic scale family and all of the chord tones are on down beats. Of course, this rule applies for the Mixolydian bebop scale. The example below shows that G dominant bebop scale is made up of G (root), A (second), B (third), C (fourth), D (fifth), E (sixth), F (seventh) and F# (the additional note). It can be observed that the chord tones of G7 that are G, B, D and F, fall on the downbeats.

Dominant bebop scale

 

G Dominant bebop scale G A B C D E F F#
G dominant 7 chord G   B   D   F  
Formulas 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7

 

How to use the Bebop dominant scale

The dominant bebop scale  is obviously played over dominant chords, but can be used over the related minor seventh (II). Indeed, the dominant bebop scale has the same notes as the relative minor scale, the Dorian bebop scale. Please note that the additional note (F#) of the D Dorian bebop scale is between the minor third (b3) and the fourth (4) whereas the additional note of the G dominant bebop scale is between the minor seventh (b7) and the root (1). These two supplementary notes are the same.

D Dorian bebop scale D E F F# G A B C        
Formula 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 b7        
G bebop dominant scale         G A B C D E F F#
Formula         1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7

 

In its basic form the Mixolydian bebop scale starts on the downbeat so on a chord tone. You can practice both ascending and descending exercises.

  • Exercise 1 on the root (1)
  • Ex. 2 on the third (3)
  • Ex. 3 on the fifth (5)
  • Ex. 5 on the minor seventh (b7)

Dominant bebop scale chord tones

Dominant bebop patterns

Here are four dominant bebop patterns. The first and second exercise start on the root, the third on the third, on the fifth.

Dominant bebop patterns

4 bebop guitar licks

Lick 1

Dominant bebop guitar lick

Lick 2

Dominant bebop guitar lick 4

Lick 3

Dominant bebop guitar lick 3

Lick 4

Dominant bebop guitar lick 2

 

Dominant bebop scale | Guitar fretboard diagrams and fingerings # 1

How to play the dominant bebop scale on guitar

This is the first dominant bebop fretboard guitar diagram and fingerings (suggested).

To hear this scale correctly, it is recommended to play these patterns by starting with the lowest root (R) and to play them by ascending and descending movement.

For example, to play the A dominant bebop scale starting on the lower root you must put your second finger on the sixth string at the fifth fret. The fingering diagram on the right indicates that you have to put your third finger on the root , this is in case you would start from the minor seventh (b7). 

Playing the corresponding chord after or before these patterns is a nice way to bring scales and chords together.

Be sure to play these patterns in twelve keys.

Pattern 1 w/intervals. Roots on the sixth, fourth and first string.

G bebop dominant scale guitar diagram 1

Pattern 1 w/fingerings (suggested)

G bebop dominant scale guitar diagram fingerings 1

Dominant bebop scale | Guitar fretboard diagrams and fingerings # 2

This second pattern has its roots (R) on the fifth and the third string.

For example, to play the D dominant bebop scale using these diagrams starting with the lowest root (R) you must put your first finger on the fifth string at the fifth fret.

Like the previous pattern, the fingering diagram on the right indicates that you have to put your third finger on the root , this is in case you would start from the minor seventh (b7). 

Once again, be sure to play this pattern in twelve keys, ascending and descending.

Here are some Bb dominant jazz backing tracks and a D bebop jazz guitar line to practice.
 

Pattern 2 w/intervals. Roots on the fifth and the third string.

G bebop dominant scale guitar diagram 2

Pattern 2 w/fingerings (suggested)

G bebop dominant scale guitar diagram fingerings 2

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Last edited: 25/05/2018