The Major Bebop Scale | Guitar Diagrams and Theory
What's The Major Bebop Scale?
The major bebop scale is an octatonic scale (eight notes) and it will take exactly four beats to play if the eight notes are used. It contains the same notes as the major scale (ionian mode) including a chromatic passing tone (#5) between the fifth (5) and the sixth (6).
The major bebop scale can be used for improvising over non altered major chords : Maj7, Maj6, 6/9, sus4, sus2, Maj9, Maj11 and Maj13. Playing the major bebop scale over major chords brings tension because of the #5.
Notice that the sharp fifth is a passing tone so you need to resolve this note in your major lines and avoid to play it over strong beats. Before learning this scale, be sure to master the Ionian mode best known as major scale.
The major bebop scale formula is 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - #5 - 6 - 7. The interval pattern is W - W - H - W - H - H - W - H
|C major bebop scale||C||D||E||F||G||G#||A||B|
W = Whole Step H = Half-Step
10 Easy II V7 Bebop Licks For Guitar With Analysis and Scale Shapes
Here are four major bebop scale guitar fretboard diagrams. It is recommended to play these patterns starting on the chord tones :
- Root (R)
- Major third (3)
- Perfect fifth (5)
- Major seventh (7)
Be sure to play these patterns in twelve keys. Playing the corresponding chord is a good way to make the link between scales and chords. For example if you play the G major bebop scale, just play a Gmaj chord (maj7, maj6).
Major Bebop Scale | Two-Octave Guitar Shapes
These two diagrams show how to play the major bebop scale within the space of two octaves.
Here is an easy guitar pattern using the major bebeop scale. You can see the #5 on bar 2, specific to this scale. Notice that it starts with a diatonic enclosure. (D-B-C).
II V I Jazz Guitar Lick
This line taken from David Baker's book "How To Play Bebop Vol.2", is a major 2 5 1 progression using the C major bebop scale with an outside note over the I chord.
Please note the use of another bebop scale, the Dorian bebop, over the iim chord.
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Last edited: 02/25/2020