The Bebop Dominant Scale

by Stephane Lucarelli

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  • The Bebop Dominant Scale is basically a Mixolydian mode with an extra note : a natural 7th.
    For F7 chord we've got the following bebop scale :

    F G A Bb C D Eb E
    1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7

    The Bebop Scale works best descending but could also be used ascending.
    This 8 notes scales gives you the ability to play chord tones on all downbeats.
    When you start the bebop scale on the beat and on the 1,3,5 or b7, there are nothing but chord tones on the beats and tensions on the off beats.
    Don't start the bebop scale on offbeat's or tensions, always start on downbeats and on chord tones.

    The Bebop Scale is a dominant scale and has the same function in a key as the Mixolydian scale. It can be played on the dominant and the sub dominant. Our example, the F Bebop Scale, is the dominant of Bb Major and can be played over F7 and Cm7, and also over Am7b5.

    Have fun,

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