Sheryl Bailey's Bebop Dojo: Essentials

Once upon a time in Kyoto, zen master Dōgen Zenji sat in his Dojo and wrote, "To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe."

While Dōgen was referring to meditation and enlightenment, he could have just as well been talking about jazz improvisation. Players spend thousands of hours studying, practicing and internalizing the vocabulary and harmony of jazz -- only to "cast off body and mind" when improvising on the bandstand. If you likewise desire to be enlightened by all things in the jazz universe, then leave your shoes at the door, bow politely and enter Sheryl Bailey's Bebop Dojo.

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course

About the Guitar Lesson Plan

Interactive Video Guitar Instruction

box artHundreds of jazz masters will tell you, "If you want to learn how to improvise, whatever your preferred musical style happens to be, learn Bebop." Blues, rock, funk, swing, world and of course jazz improvisation all root back to bebop in one way or another.

Bebop is the native language of improvisation and this Essentials edition Sheryl Bailey's Bebop Dojo is the "place of the way" and an accelerated, intuitive learning experience designed to impart essential Bebop skills, techniques, insight and improvisational methods.

"In this Essentials edition of my Bebop Dojo, we'll explore the techniques, tools and concepts that comprise the foundation of Bebop; we'll work on comping, crafting melodic lines through shell voicings, 4-to-the-bar rhythm patterns, arpeggios, voice-leading, developing a strong swing feel, syncopation, building riffs from common tones and improvisation."

Sheryl will show you how to develop a strong eighth-note feel, and demonstrate how to create melodic ideas using common tones within the arpeggios to form Charlie-Christian-like solo templates. You'll learn how to employ syncopation to make your lines come alive with that exciting rhythmic push of Bebop.

Sheryl also passes on a vocabulary of versatile Bebop licks for both major and minor 2-5's, which you'll apply immediately over the improvisational playalongs, trading 4's and 8's with Sheryl. All of the playalong tracks are provided in several different tempos, and everything is notated, tabbed and charted out for you as well.

All in all, everything you need to build your Bebop foundation is placed at your fingertips in full living color. Immerse yourself in the Bebop Dojo and emerge an enlightened improvisor.

"Sometimes true learning surprises you when it emerges." - Chungliang Al Huang

About Your Instructor

Sheryl Bailey

educatorTop recording artist, educator, composer and jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey has eight releases as a leader, is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, is on the faculty of The Collective in New York City, and has many educational publications to her credit including Moveable Shapes: Concepts for Re-Harmonizing II-V-Is from Mel Bay.

Hailed as a modernist burner with an abundance of Pat Martino-style chops by JazzTimes Magazine, Bailey's solo from her composition Old and Young Blues is included in the compilation Jazz Masters Anthology Vol. VI.

In addition to her many solo outings, Sheryl has toured and recorded with David Krakauers Klezmer Madness, Richard Bona, Shingo Okudaira, Abraham Inc., Fred Wesley, Kim Plainfield, Ian Froman, George Garzone, Jack Wilkins, Howard Alden, John Pisano, Gary Portnoy and pop diva Irene Cara.

Sheryl also has had the honor of being a Jazz Ambassador for the Kennedy Center and US State Department touring the music of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Bailey also leads the highly popular "Jazz Guitars Meet Hendrix," with jazz guitar virtuoso Vic Juris, which explores the music of Jimi Hendrix from a jazz guitar perspective.

The Sheryl Bailey 3: Live in NYC, a DVD/CD from Mel Bay Records, and her newest release, For All Those Living featuring her quartet with pianist Jim Ridl, are both critically acclaimed and further solidify her stature as "one of the most exciting, accomplished and talented jazz guitarists on the scene today!"

Watch Now

Watch video samples on TrueFire TV. Enrolled students have full access.

Check out sample lessons from this course on TrueFire TV

Video Order Options

Student Discounts and TrueFire Cash can be applied!


For PC, Mac & Linux computers only. Not compatible on iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile devices. For a list of our mobile apps, click here >>

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What you Get:

Video software (Windows and Mac) with TrueFire's Lesson Player including...

  • - 190 Minutes of Video
  • - Text Commentary
  • - Tab and Notation
  • - Jam Tracks
  • - Power Tab
  • - Guitar Pro


Intermediate - Advanced

Table of Contents

  1. SECTION 1: Chords and Comping
    - Bebop Chord Template
    - Shell Voicings
    - Bebop Comping
    - Four to the Bar
    - 3 Playalongs
    - Summary
  2. SECTION 2: Arpeggios
    - In 5th Position
    - How to Practice
    - 4 Playalongs
    - Summary
  3. SECTION 3: The Bebop Toolkit
    - Voice Leading
    - The Swing Feel
    - Syncopation
    - Common Tones
    - 6 Bebop Licks
    - Playalong
    - Summary
  4. SECTION 4: Improvisation
    - 2-5-1 Major Improv
    - 2-5-1 Minor Improv
    - 2-5-1 Major and Minor
    - Playalong
    - Summary
    - Bonus Performances
    - Conclusion

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