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Book on Bebop Scales

3498 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JL
I asked this question within a fading thread, and maybe not many people saw it, so I'm asking it again here. (Sorry about repeating it, if you already saw it.) I wonder if anyone has seen the book Bebop Scales by Scott Black? I read about it online in the "Tucson Citizen":

It sounds pretty good. (But I always think that when I read an advertisement for a jazz instruction book.)

One thing I wonder is, are the bebop scales SO crucial to playing jazz? (I'm not saying they aren't; just asking.) This book makes them central to the music (we're just talking bop and post-bop and other styles that developed out of bop, I guess, but still...). It's funny, because other books, like Levine's, don't give that impression. In Levine, they're just another important scale along with the others, not the "key" to everything. And the book that jazzpianoonline mentioned in the other thread I was talking about (the thread called "Best Music Theory"), Jazz Theory and Practice by Richard Lawn and Jeffrey Hellmer (a fairly long and detailed book, not a brief intro), doesn't mention them at all, as far as I can tell. (Or do they call the bebop scale by another name?)

So two questions:
(1) how good is Scott Black's book?
(2) the bebop scale the most important one?
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It's not THE most important scale. I'd say the Major scale (and it's modes) and the chromatic are more fundamental and more important. But yeah, the bebop scale is important if you want to play jazz.

The purpose of bebop scales are to put chord tones on down beats. They add in chromatic passing tones in order to make this happen. So all you're really doing is adding one note (to begin with) to a scale you should already know. Sounds easy but it can get hard sometimes. A lot of the bop language utilizes this scale and it helps a lot to understand the concept so that when you see it happen, you know what's going on.

Might I suggest David Baker's "How to Play Bebop." It's not a workbook. It won't give you exercises(mostly), but it does do a good job of explaining the bop language.

For a workbook/playalong with more specific exercises, I've used Jerry Bergonzi's "Inside Improvisation Volume 3: Jazz Line"

I don't know anything about the Black book.
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