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Bebop Dorian- Which way?
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princeplanet



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 6:48 am    Post subject: Bebop Dorian- Which way? Reply with quote

OK, I'm led to believe that the most common way the dorian bebop is constructed is by adding the passing note between the (b)3rd and 4th. Now, it is also my understanding that these scales developed through the desire to land chord tones on down beats. The Major bebop achieves this with it's added #5 as the dominant bebop does with it's added #7. But the dorian lands the root, 3rd, 4th and 6th when starting on a root or 3rd, and when starting on a 5th or 7th you get 5, 7, 9 and major 3rd! Clearly this scale is used as a conjunct to the following dom chord in a ii-V progression as, say, D dorian bebop has the same notes as G mixo bebop. I think I notice idiomatic uses of the dorian bebop where landing the 4th simply pre-empts the following dom chord. From this expect that you can't be as free with the dorian bebop as you could the maj or mixo versions, there are some definite "no-no's". So why aren't other possible variations more commonly found, ie, adding the #7, or adding the #5? The former gives you all chord tones on down beats while the latter gives you the maj 6th in place of the min 7th, ie, the "Dorian" sound.

Please don't say "Just learn them all"... I'm realizing life is too short to learn every way to do things in Jazz! The other answer I'm anticipating is "Play the one that sounds right to you"... trouble is, I like them all, kinda... Maybe what I'm asking is - how do experienced improvisers get around this? What about in a Dorian modal piece, which alteration is most common, the added nat 3rd, the #5, or the #7th?

This has been bugging me for ages and I have yet to see any discussion anywhere about this so I'd appreciate any feelings you have about this.
Thanks.
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Jens



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
Posts: 416
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The added note is a chromatic passing tone so you can indeed put it anywhere you like.

It probably is only used in chromatic approach and does not appear as part of a diatonic arpeggio so personally I would suggest not playing it as part of the scale but just think of it as a chromatic phrase. I think you'd be much better of practicing playing dorian (as a 7 note scale) and then practice using chromaticism. Since it is the only function it the note has there is no need to include it all the time.

That's just how I see it of course, so feel free to disagree.

Jens
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steve



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 867
Location: oz

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey princeplanet,

I think you pretty much answered your own question. Laughing

Keep working with it and you will soon use a variety of techniques (chromatic passing, doubling back, running up an arpeggio etc) to milk out the chord tones that you desire.

Here's a line to demonstrate:

Code:
Am6

--7-6-5-----------|----------------|------------||
--------8-7-5-----|----------------|------------||
--------------7-6-|-5-7-4----------|------------||
------------------|-------8-7-5-4--|------------||
------------------|--------------7-|-5-4-3------||
------------------|----------------|------------||


Check out some walking bass lines over a Dorian chord too.
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princeplanet



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to get good at placing chromatics in a consonant way in order to finally control certain dissonant ways to use them. This is what the greats are doing. Arbitrary use of chromatics will not get me there.

OK, been checking out these things against a Dorian vamp and sure enough, it seems that landing the 9th, 11th and 13th against a basic m6 sound all sound fine. No surprise about the 9 or 13 of course, but the real surprise upon inspection is how cool the 11th sounds on a down beat. It's such a familiar sound. This must be why people love blowing over dorian vamps, you can do little wrong! Still, if you want control over chromatics between the scale tones, there still needs to be some rules! For example, you just can't run down g-f#-F-e or c-b-Bb-a against Am6 where each 4 note group starts on a down beat, nor e-d-c#-c etc. So, again, if we simply confine this discussion to the problem of applying chromatics to an Am6 vamp, how does one practice for it? : b2, nat3, #4, #5, #7 ...... Each additional passing note creates it's own list of "do's and dont's". Are you guys telling me that with all the jazz improv theory ever written, there is no systematic approach to cover practicing their handling?

Eg, you could summarize the rules for 4 consecutive chromatic notes like this:

Never descend chromatically from the 3rd, or 7th in Dorian, or ascend from the 9th or 6th.

That's straight forward enough, but avoiding note groupings like this: e-d-c#-c are more complicated. This is a semitone (ST)- ST-T- , which will sound bad whereas a ST-ST- T group like b-Bb-a-g sounds great. When guys like Wes or Sonny Stitt or Sonny Rollins were playing every conceivable chromatic variation against certain chords, they simply must have had a system firmly ingrained in order to avoid bad groups at break neck speeds.

Is it just that we need to work out our own systems? Maybe people who work this stuff out never give it away freely? Charlie Parker for one never gave anything away, except the recordings of course, but no one can really figure out how he was really thinking. One thing is for sure, he was using his own privately conceived, ingenious systems.

So I guess that's all I'm asking, are there systems out there I can study? Or do I make up some of my own? I'm feeling more and more resigned to the latter....
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is a system, I personally wouldn't want to study it. I really understand the desire to find a system, but this is music and some things just work and some things don't, and most of it depends on context. I think some of the "no no"s you pointed out could sound great in the right scenario, and it's all just so subjective.

It seems to me the most logical answer to this problem would be to do one or all of the following:

1. Check out the solos of the players you've mentioned - Wes, Stitt, Rollins, Bird and see where and how they use chromaticism. But personally I think time is better spent simply playing their solos in different keys and different positions and not analyzing too much. The stuff will get ingrained and I think it will sound much more organic this way. Maybe there is a system, maybe there isn't. As I wrote in the other thread:

Quote:
I remember being taught that the bebop vocabulary consisted mostly of chord tones on the strong beats and accidentals or other scale tones on the upbeats, and was told to write out guide tone lines and fill them in this manner.

But years later when I actually analyzed the music I found that this assessment seemed to be false.
...And although there are hints of formula in the music, there's no true system as detailed as what you're describing such that a computer could take great bebop solos if it were given this set of rules.


2. Develop your own system. If you think something sounds good, practice it in different keys and positions, sing it, invert it, experiment with it, make it your own. If you don't like it, don't play it, right?

Personally I had such huge breakthroughs in my bebop playing when I got away from scales and just focussed on the more direct material - the chord changes, the melody, and the solos that have already been taken over the forms.

At the end of the day I think you just have to have this stuff in your ears and in your fingers. The brain needs to have a handle on things but I just can't imagine playing where every note seems like a round of Tetris!

Slightly antithetical to all that I've written, for what it's worth I did get the good tip once that good bop lines have a fair mix of stepwise and chromatic movement against movement of thirds or greater. Too much of either and things can start to sound homogenized
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princeplanet



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Jake. Yeah, I don't mind that I have to go my own way with this stuff, seems we all do, but I just needed to be sure I wasn't missing something obvious. Imagine spending 10 years shedding stuff only to realise there was a little magic book that would have covered the same ground in say 2 or 3 years! As I get older, the possibility that I am wasting precious time learning erroneously scares the shit outta me!
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

princeplanet wrote:
Cheers Jake. Yeah, I don't mind that I have to go my own way with this stuff, seems we all do, but I just needed to be sure I wasn't missing something obvious. Imagine spending 10 years shedding stuff only to realise there was a little magic book that would have covered the same ground in say 2 or 3 years! As I get older, the possibility that I am wasting precious time learning erroneously scares the shit outta me!


I get what you're saying. The closest thing I'm familiar is the berklee guide tone idea that I mentioned. You're right, maybe there is a book out there. But there's also the omnibook!
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princeplanet



Joined: 28 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omnibook is like a bible, for sure, just wish Bird had written an Omnibook "reader" to go with it.......
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Jazzy



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 1660
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey princeplanet. Have you checked out David Bakers books?
"How to play bebop". If not, I recommend checking these out, especially the first one.
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princeplanet



Joined: 28 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Jazzy"]Hey princeplanet. Have you checked out David Bakers books?
"How to play bebop". If not, I recommend checking these out, especially the first one.[/quote]

Yeah they're good, but unfortunately doesn't answer many questions I have about common usages of other chromatic choices. You can't analyse all Sonny Rollins or Bird or Wes solos in terms of "bebop" scale chromaticism....
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steve



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
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Location: oz

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still say the best way is to practice/jam with the scale. You can get used to creating bebop-scale lines by ear using a variety of embellishing ideas. WOrk out some of Freddie Hubbards cascading bop lines. No rules in some of those, just taste.

However!

Some rules for you to try:

1. Start your line on a chord tone from the relative dom7.
Am6 (dorian) = start on D F# A or C

2. Run up and down the Am bebop scale to your hearts desire, in stepwise scale fashion. (yes you do highlight the root, b3, 6 and 11 - very dorian no?)

3. If starting line on a different chord tone to the relative dom insert one extra chromatic note before the first RD chord tone. OR play the straight dorian scale until you hit the b7 of the RD (C) then back into the bebop minor, OR use a change in rhythm (syncopation) in order to set up the next note on a downbeat.

4. If starting on the 3rd (or any other D7 tone really) of the RD (F#), play chromatically down to the 6th (B) if you would like to emphasise the 5th of the minor chord (E) instead of the 11 (D).

5. When starting on non diatonic notes use common sense and insert an extra passing note the opposite side of the chord tone. Eg, if start on F, play F Eb E and off you go! Or use syncopation.

6. When arriving at the b7 of the RD, you can acend up a major 7 chord buit on this note. In Am Dorian this would be a Cmaj7 arp.

7. When arriving at the 3rd or 5th of the RD you may ascend a dim7 arp.


Many more rules can be generated including turns, doubling back, etc - all generated from trying to keep the chord tones on the down beats (did you check out bass lines?)

I got most of these rules/ideas from a book I lent from a friend a long time back. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the book, but I do remember that the book was primarily concerned with arranging for jazz band, and there was a small section/chapter on this stuff.

Hope this help.
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princeplanet



Joined: 28 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice, I'll try these, thanks!
Say, are you from oz as in Australia, or oz as in the wiz?
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steve



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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, definately the wiz. But now I'm of for a waz. Laughing
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steve



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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Australia
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princeplanet



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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Victoria?
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