The Locrian Bebop Scale | Guitar Diagrams and Patterns

Locrian Bebop Scale | Guitar Diagrams

What's the Locrian Bebop Scale?

The Locrian bebop scale is made up of eight notes, it's an octatonic scale. The formula is 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b6 - b7. This is the Locrian mode with a passing tone (5) between the flat five (b5) and the minor sixth (b6). This scale is commonly played over m7b5 chords but it can be a good choice when you want to improvise over dominant chords as explained below. 

B Locrian bebop scale B C D E F F# G A
Formula 1 b2 b3 4 b5 5 b6 b7
Intervals H W W H H H W W


Comparison With the Dominant Bebop Scale

The dominant bebop scale contains the same notes as the Locrian bebop scale. It means that you can play the Locrian bebop scale starting on the third of a dominant 7 chord. For example, over G7 play B Locrian bebop.

G Dominant Bebop G A B C D E F F#    
Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7    
B Locrian Bebop      B C D E F F# G A
Formula     1 b2 b3 4 b5 5 b6 b7

Locrian Bebop Scale | One Octave Shapes

How to Play the Locrian Bebop Scale on Guitar?

Here are four shapes to play the Locrian bebop scale on guitar.

In a first step, for better hearing this scale, it is recommended to play these diagrams starting from the lowest root (R).

Then you can try to practice them starting from the chord tones, (the most important notes). The chord tones are 1 - b3 - b5 and b7. You need to make sure to play the passing tone (5) on upbeats and the chord tones on downbeats.

Another important thing to take into account is to practice these patterns in twelve keys and associate them with the corresponding chord.


Locrian bebop scale one octave shapes

Locrian Bebop Scale | Two Octave Shapes

In these diagrams the Locrian bebop scale is represented within the space of two octaves.

Locrian bebop scale two octave shape

Minor II-V-I Lick | Locrian Bebop Scale

Here is an example of how to use the Locrian bebop scale in a minor II-V-I sequence. The D Locrian bebop scale is played over a Dm7b5 chord.


Locrian bebop lick minor ii v i

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Last edited: 02/02/2019