Review of “How To Play Bebop 3” by David Baker

This post is the third in a series of my posts that review David Baker’s “How To Play Bebop” series. I am reviewing the third volume in this post.

This volume is all about techniques for learning and utilizing bebop tunes. This book consists of the following eight chapters:

  1. The Contrafact
  2. A Technique for Learning Tunes
  3. A Technique for Learning and Internalizing a Composition Using Bebop Tunes
  4. Using Bebop Compositions and Arrangements As a Means of Learning to Play Bebop
  5. The Use of Quotation in Bebop Solos
  6. An Approach to Developing Thematic Fluency Using the “Piggyback” Technique
  7. Another Approach to Learning to Improvise on The Blues
  8. An Approach to Improvising on “Rhythm” Tunes

The author also includes “A List of Essential Bebop Tunes for Memorization” in the appendix.

Chapter 1 provides a definition and historical perspective of the contrafact and then lists 15 bebop songs and other songs that are contrafacts of those songs. The most important thing to take of from this description is that next to the blues there are more bebop songs that are contrafacts of “I Got Rhythm” than any other bebop song. The author lists 48 bebop songs that are contrafacts of the “Rhythm” changes. This explains the importance of spending a great deal of time on the “Rhythm” changes.

Chapter 2 provides a detailed method for learning tunes. Guide tones and example exercises are provided.

Chapter 3 describes ways to internalize bebop tunes. For example learn the melody, learn the roots, use of root-based digital patterns.

Chapter 4 provides a list of tunes that will aid in the learning of bebop.

Chapter 5 discusses the use of quotes from other songs in bebop.

Chapter 6 discusses constructing lines that have a smooth flow.

Chapter 7 disccuses a different approach to improvising on the blues. The author provides a list of riff blues and asks that you learn them in all keys. Examples are provided.

Chapter 8 provides an approach to improvising on the “I Got Rhythm” tunes. Different variations are provided along with some model lines.

David Bakers bebop books are well written. In my opinion this series is best approached by an intermediate or higher level jazz improvisor.

How to Play Bebop – Volume 3