David Baker – How to Play Bebop Volume 3
Jun 12 2015
A three-volume series that includes the scales, chords and modes necessary to play bebop music. A great introduction to a style that is most influential in today’s music. This book contains a great deal of practical information on how to approach and internalise tunes. It gives great examples of phrase making and blowing through changes. It has completely revolutionised practice approach by giving lots of meaty examples to work through. An invaluable book for the aspiring. Well written and great theory examples and exercises.
David Baker’s books are classic and there is a reason why. These will help your jazz chops. You can’t help but expand your bag of licks with these classic bebop lines. Know some basic theory before you begin to work with these books (volumes 1-3.) The books move right along with brief explanations that assume that you know basic music theory. Other than that, buy em’, use em’, get ’em in your collection. If you like bebop, you can’t go wrong with these books.
Volume 3 is about how to learn and internalise tunes. This is a book that is useful in a broader sense than just the bebop genre. He covers techniques such as creating guide tone lines, playing chord tones, learning contrafacts, and more.
With the steps written out in detail for several examples, he explains the steps you should go through to learn a new tune. By learning and internalising the tune he means really knowing the melody and chord changes intimately and being able to improvise over it fluently. You can save a lot of effort by realising that many jazz tunes are contrafacts or partial contrafacts and Baker gives many examples of these. A contrafact is a tune with a different melody but the same chord changes. For example there are many, many songs based on the blues form, and nearly as many based on the changes to “I’ve Got Rhythm”. There are many others. For example the tune “Ornithology” is based on the changes from “How High The Moon”, “Groovin High” is based on the changes from “Whispering” and “Hot House” is based on the changes from “What Is This Thing Called Love?”. Other changes are partial contrafacts which might contain sections with shared changes (e.g. “Take The A Train” and “The Girl From Ipanema”).
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