The Dominant Bebop Scale | Guitar Fretboard Diagrams, Interval 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 tonic (1).

The formula for 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). Here is an example in G.

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

How To Play The Dominant Bebop Scale On Guitar?

Here are four diagrams to play the dominant bebop scale on guitar. Each shape have notes within the space of one octave.

To hear this scale correctly, it is recommended to play it starting with the chord tones as the tonic (1), third (3), fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7), both in ascending and descending movements

Playing the corresponding chord after or before these patterns is a nice way to bring scales and chords together. For example, if you play a G bebop dominant scale, just play a G7 chord.


Dominant bebop guitar shapes

Two-Octave Shapes

These two shapes have roots within the space of two octaves (a little bit more). Be sure to play this pattern in twelve keys, ascending and descending and remember that the chord tones (1 - 3 - 5 - b7) must be played on the downbeats.


Dominant bebop guitar diagrams

7 Shapes

The next diagram show the 7 dominant bebop scale positions that cover the whole guitar neck. Each shape starts on a different step of the scale (except the passing tone).

Dominant bebop guitar positions

How To Use The Dominant Bebop 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 tonic (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

10 Easy II V7 Bebop Licks For Guitar With Analysis and Scale Shapes

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 tonic (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 tonic (G) whereas the third example starts on the third (B) and the fourth on the fifth (G). Try to practice these patterns in twelve keys.

Dominant bebop patterns

4 Easy Dominant Bebop Guitar Licks

Here are easy lines that show how you can apply the dominant bebop scale to the V chord of a II V I sequence.

Dominant bebop guitar lick
Dominant bebop guitar lick 4
Dominant bebop guitar lick 2
Dominant bebop guitar lick 3
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Last edited: 2023-05-28

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