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Jazz Piano Lessons: Essential Jazz Scales: The Bb7 Bop Scale

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Let's get going on our next
chord in our blues sequence.
We have a couple of gray
tools on the F seven.
And now we're gonna go
to the B flat seven.
The principle is the same, again.
We're going to look at ways to
put the notes of the B flat seven
chord on the beat
And the B flat seven chord is B flat,
D, F, and A flat.
Those are gonna be the notes that we want
on the beat as we compile this scale.
And, essentially, it's called a Mixolydian
mode if you play the seven-note scale.
So, what it would be is an E flat
scale starting on the B flat.
Once again, though, we run into our
problem when we go past that
first bar's worth of notes.
That's all great because we've got
on the beat.
If we continue up though,
at the seven note scale,
and again that produces this,
kind of a thing.
If these are the notes that we're
putting on the beat instead
of these,
we're out of sync.
So our scale for
the B flat seven is gonna be the same
idea as it was for the F seven.
We're gonna add a passing tone between
flat seven and the root.
So we're just gonna add that A in there.
And that keeps us in sync all
the way up as we play the scale.
Which is a very
different sound than
That one kind of resolves to the E flat
which that's something we don't want.
Let's look at the fingering on this.
You'll notice in a lot of these scales,
I don't seem to be using my fourth and
fifth finger.
That's not because I'm avoiding them.
As a matter of fact, we're gonna do some
exercises later on that really work and
fortify especially the fourth finger.
Cuz when you're improvising,
you have to have all hands on deck or
all fingers on hand.
You can't not get to something because
your fourth finger is weak or lame.
So, the reason that these
things are fingered
the way they are, is to accommodate,
I'm not using the four or five on that.
But this seems to be, to me,
the way to get it to roll.
I could do that,
I guess,
but it's much more efficient for
this particular scale to just go with one,
two and three.
We're gonna start with the third
finger because that way,
we can repeat the pattern all the way up.
And it's basically three, one,
two, three, one, two, three,
one, three, one, two, three,
one, two, three, one, three.
Again, one, two, three,
one, two, three, four.
I mean, sorry, one.
Three, one, two, three, one,
two, three, one, three.
And then on the way down,
it's pretty much the same thing.
Three, one, three, two, one, three,
two, one, three, one, three,
two, one, three, two, one, three, one,
three, two, one, three, two, one, three.
When you start
from a different degree of the scale,
I recommend just go ahead and
start with the finger that's on the chart,
cuz then you're in position to play
the rest of the fingering all the way up.
That is our B flat seven
dominant bop scale.
Again, when you practice it play it
from way down here
but swing it.
You can hear in there that I'm
experimenting with some
different articulations.
I'm accenting this note and that note.
That's one way of starting
to improvise our exercises.
Whatever comes into your head,
lay back on some notes.
Kind of drop some notes.
Play them so
quietly that you can't even hear them.
That kind of thing.
And, in general,
try to keep an easy rolling triplet feel.
And try to mostly accent the off beats.
Then start
from the third.
Swing really extreme
on your accents to the point
that you almost don't
even hear the drop notes.
And even when I'm doing that,
the wrist is starting to go up and
down a little bit more,
but it's still very flat.
We're looking for very little motion, the
way how Galper the great pianist puts it,
is that we're little muscles people with
the possible exception of McCoy Tyner.
But it's a dexterity thing rather
than an Arnold Schwarzenegger thing.
Points to keep in mind as you practice
these; work on getting that B
flat seven bob scale under your fingers.
We've got two more left to go and
then we're gonna assemble these and
start playing on the blues.
So, next up we'll look at the g minor
seven bop scale which is a little bit
different an idea, the principle is the
same, so I will see you for that lesson.