Bird was jamming with guitarist Buddy Fleet in a NYC chili house between 139th and 140th street in December of 1939. That was the night bebop was born, or so the story goes. Bird said he was bored with the straightforward voicings and melodies that were typical in the swing music being played at the time. "I kept thinking there's bound to be something else. I could hear it sometimes but I couldn't play it." That night someone called Cherokee and Bird started playing off the higher intervals, Fleet picked right up on it and the rest is history.
Bebop re-invented popular swing-era tunes with hipper changes, sophisticated melodies and explosive improvisations. Crafting melodies and improvisations by arpeggiating changes that are rich with substitutions and extensions is key to the style. Whatever your preferred style; jazz, rock, pop and especially blues -- if you want to become a skilled improviser, then learning bebop is prerequisite to your success. Ready to start that journey? Put Fareed Haque's Bebop Improv Guide in your back pocket and get busy.
Good news for you. Guitarists already have a bit of an edge when it comes to learning the style because it's arpeggio-based and those arpeggios lie right inside the moveable chords you likely already know. Once you know your 4-note arps, you only need to learn how to integrate three remaining notes in that chord's scale (with a dash of chromatics of course). So, guitarists get a head start.
In the first section of the Bebop Improv Survival Guide, Fareed presents the underlying architecture of bebop demonstrating how bebop lines are built from arpeggios and jazz chords, and also how to create bebop scales and connect them across changes. Fareed's insightful formulas for building ANY chord, ANY arpeggio and/or ANY scale, using the common major scale as the base reference is worth the price of admission alone.
In the second section, you can lay the axe down for a few as Fareed performs some examples to train your ear to recognize the bebop sound and distinguish between early swing-style bebop and the more advanced and sophisticated bebop that it evolved into.
Next up in the third section, a thorough examination of the chord types that comprise the bebop songbook and best practices for crafting the arpeggios and scales needed to play over them.
Grab the box for the fourth section as you work through a series of playalongs. It's here that your bebop prowess starts to take shape as you apply what you've learned over bebop chord changes. Finally in the fifth section, Fareed pulls back the curtain on chord substitution with his enlightening Four Principles of Chord Substitution -- mind-blowing stuff!
True to Fareed's inimitable educational approach, you will not be spending a lot of time studying theory or working through tedious exercises -- you'll be playing your way through the Bebop Improv Survival Guide and bopping with the best of them in no time at all. Long live bop!
P.S. Can't get Milestones out of your head? Check out Fareed Haque's Modal Jazz Survival Guide!