Develop Your Own Bebop Vocabulary

by | Jazz Improvisation

Do you ever feel like you’re playing the same old ideas over and over again every time you take a solo?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone! As a matter of fact, when I graduated from Berklee College of Music in the early 80’s, I was one of those players that knew all his basic modes over II-V-Is and could play the right scales over most chord changes. However, other than a few occasional licks that I learned how to fit into just the right places, my solos were very repetitious. The bottom line: I lacked vocabulary!

So I started searching for answers on how to expand my vocabulary without the need to rely on learning licks. And don’t get me wrong, licks are a great place to start, but they’ll only get you so far. Eventually you have to learn how to develop your own jazz vocabulary if you want to grow! So having said that, let me share with you what I learned after studying and hanging out with lots of the greats… Believe it or not, I learned that for the most part, they all use the same dorian, mixolydian and ionian that you and I use. The secret is in the strategy they employ to organize those same notes and combine them with the rhythms!

In this lesson I want to share with you one of those strategies that enables you to create a full fledged bebop line starting with only 2 or 3 notes or what is otherwise known as a pitch cell.


The “Grow Your Bebop Vocabulary” Files can be downloaded for $8.00. Your contribution is much appreciated, as it helps support the site and allows me to keep investing the long hours required to produce these lessons. The download includes: 6 PDFs with both regular notation and TAB, demonstrating in detail the procedure to build all 10 II-V-I  lines .

For those that don’t use PayPal…when you click the button below, it will give you the option to pay with any major credit card without the need to sign up for PayPal. Note that you must be logged in for the payment and download links to be visible!

[Content protected for Jazz Guitarists Series members only]

[Content protected for Elite, Elite 3 Month, Elite 6 Month members only]


Submit a Comment

Terms of Service