How to play JAZZ on the mandolin

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 Bebop Phrase 2

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Bebop players tended to use more chromatic lines than did the players of the swing era.  Also bop players used higher intervals of chords as their emphasis soloing notes more often.  For major chord sounds, in the playing of Charlie Parker you will hear more emphasis placed on the major 7, 9th and sharp 11th.  One gets more emphasis from these notes when you place them on the beat in 4/4 time.

An example of this is bebop phrase 2. 

Jazz mandolin bebop phrase 2


The "X" notes above are chord tones in a Jazz major chord.  A Jazz major chord is a Major 7 (1, 3, 5, 7) or sixth (1, 3, 5, 6) chord.  In a Bb chord 1 is Bb, 3 is D, 5 is F, 6 is G and 7 is A.  Notice how these notes are all placed on the beat in 4/4 time.  This gives the solo the sound of fitting the Bb major chord, in our case a BbMaj7.

The second to the last note in measure 1 above, the note F, is surrounded by the G flat and E natural right before.  This SURROUND (more here) sound is very typical of bebop.  We have a more elaborate surround leading to the D note in measure 2.  The surround is Eb, C, C# and D before Eb. Also the last note, Bb is surrounded by A, C, Cb (B) before Bb.


You can find more on this by downloading the free PDF book Bebop Mandolin: Target Notes and Chromatic Approaches by going to the books page HERE.


Best of luck and have fun learning Jazz!

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