BeBop Methods

I'm wondering what people here recommend for method books to help me improve my improvisation of bebop style lines.

If you are in the NYC area, I would recommend finding Barry Harris and going to study with him or whoever is teaching his stuff. Larry Ham is somebody who has done that for years and is excellent.

Bottom line, books can only teach you the notes... There are lots of those. If you want to actually play that style you will need somebody to teach you the way those lines are constructed and how they are phrased.

The phrasing is what makes it bebop.

Have fun with it. Bird lives!

Hi Vince,

Although I haven't worked through David Baker's books per se, when I was at the Aebersold camp I attended his class every day for a week. My take at a very high level (so take this with a grain of salt) is: Bop tune heads are the key to solo lines and solo lines became tune heads. David called it the lingua-franca of Bop.

He was really big on taking tune heads (or parts of heads) and playing them in different keys and moving from quotes to original/improvised lines. He also breaks down some 'techniques'; for example the bebop scale works well because chord tones land on downbeats.

So it's my long-winded way of saying if I wanted to get deeper in bop oriented lines, I'd look at something he authored or coauthored pertaining to Bebop.

-- I hope this helps.

-- IG

Here's a good place to start…

Don't use books other than for basic basic basic theory. Otherwise go to the recordings, or talk to people whose playing you admire.