Charlie Christian jazz guitar lesson | Swing to bop transcription # 1

Swing to bop | Guitar solo transcription

This jazz guitar lesson is about minor swing jazz guitar lines (8 bars) played by Charlie Christian in the tune "Swing to bop".

Charlie Christian played those jazz licks over a Ebm and a Bbm chord progression. It starts with a chromaticism, notes from the Eb dorian mode (Eb, F, Gb, Ab Bb, Db, C) and continues with notes from the Bb aeolian mode (Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab) also known as the natural minor scale.

Notice the presence of a C half-diminished arpeggio (C-Eb-Gb-Bb) in bar 4. This line highlights the thirteenth (C), the root (Eb), the minor third (Gb) and the fifth of Ebm. You can also hear a descending G half diminished arpeggio (G-Bb-Db-F) at measures 4 & 5. This one highlights the thirteenth (G), the root (Bb), the minor third (Db) and the fifth of Bbm.

Related scales and arpeggios charts

As you can notice the main and only difference between the aeolian mode and the dorian mode is the sixth, which is flat in the aeolian mode.

Bb aeolian mode Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab
Formula 1 2 (9) b3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7
Intervals W H W W H W W


Eb Dorian mode Eb E Gb Ab Bb Db C
Formula 1 2 (9) b3 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Intervals W H W W W H W


Related half diminished arpeggios

Basically a half-diminished arpeggio is used to play over minor seventh flat fifth chords (m7b5) but it can be applied over minor chords to highlights some notes or extensions. Each jazz guitar student have to keep in mind how it is built, indeed it is made up of four tones :

  • Root (1)
  • Minor third (b3)
  • Diminished fifth (b5)
  • Minor seventh (b7)

These two  charts show how the two half diminished arpeggios played by Charlie Christian are built.

C half diminished arpeggio C Eb Gb Bb
Formula 1 b3 b5 b7


G half diminished arpeggio G Bb Db F
Formula 1 b3 b5 b7

Charlie christian lick guitar transcription

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Last edited: 06/03/2017


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