Lesson 1: The three most important things are rhythm, rhythm and rhythm. In that order. This is a main tenet of Chuck Israel’s teachings. I think it’s worthwhile to develop a rhythmic vocabulary simultaneous to your harmonic vocabulary. For playing scalar lines using 8th or 16th notes, bebop scales are a must.

Every mode of the major scale and melodic minor scales has a bebop (8-note) equivalent. Here is an easy way to figure out what it is. If the chord has a Major 7th than it must have an added #5/b13 (ie. CMaj7 = C, D, E, F, G, G#, A, B, C) and if the chord has a minor 7th then it must have and added M7 (ie. Bm7b5 = B, C, D, E, F, G, A, A#, B). Furthermore, these can be substituted in the same way that chords are. For example, substituting a Bm7b5 (Locrian Bebop) over a G7 (Mixolydian Bebop) chord will accent B (3rd), D (5th), F (7th), and A (9th). It is worth noting the passing tones in these scales and what chord they form, in this case C7.

From a guitarist’s point of view, bebop scales are attractive because they have the potential for redundant fingerings on every other string, giving muscle memory a fighting chance to fire off scalar lines at fast tempos. An example is the following G Mixolydian mode.