Posted On December 21, 2020

Thank you so much to all who have picked up a copy of HolidayTudes! I can’t get over how cool it is that people around the world are playing these tunes.

So glad everyone's enjoying the book! It’s been amazing hearing from so many of you and I’m having so much fun answering questions and getting to know you.

The most common question came down to this:

“How does ‘Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful’ become a bebop lick like this?”

“How can I make MY OWN bop licks out of simple melodies?”

That’s why today I thought it would be cool to break down that lick together. Let's get started, shall we?

How To ‘Bebop’ A Holiday Melody

You might want to watch the following of the great Joseph Patrick Moore performing the etude to use as reference.

> STEP #1 - Get the “Traditional” Tune Firmly in Your Ear:

  • Sing / play the lick in it’s “original” form - repeat until comfortable
  • Assign numbers as related to the key - sing / play while mentally “screaming” the numbers

> STEP #2 - Vary the Rhythm by Swinging and Adding Syncopation

  • Delay the first two notes by half of a beat
  • Swing the eighth notes
  • Anticipate the last note

> STEP #3 - Embellish the Simple Melody with Chromaticism and Arpeggiation

  • GOAL = Preserve the shape of the line and emphasize original melody notes
  • Add a lower neighbor between first two notes
  • Insert a chromatic passing tone (#4) between FIVE and FOUR on the upbeat of one
  • Leap down from 4 to 6, arpeggiate back up to THREE
  • Add a chromatic passing tone between TWO and ONE

> STEP #4 - Analyze in Relation to the Chord Changes

  • Start on 4 of the Gmi9, insert lower neighbor = M3
  • Passing tone M3 between 4 and 3 of the Gmi7
  • Leap down to 5 of Gmi9
  • 4 - 6 - 5 - b5 | 1 - 5 on the C7 | F6

If we try to analyze or memorize this short lick using the method above, we’re thinking about 13 individual notes…

That’s a lot to think about while trying to swing, don’t you think?

The good news is that Bebop Boot Camp makes it WAY easier to create these bop variations of familiar melodies!

Here’s how we look at / hear it using our Bebop Boot Camp methodology:

> STEP #5 - Analyze in Relation to the Harmony

  • Ignore the Gmi7 - Play C7 over the whole measure
  • First three notes = SHAPE 1
  • Next three notes = Descending "bebop scale" line
  • Next four notes = SHAPE 2
  • Next three notes = Descending "bebop scale" line
  • Last note = Last note of original melody

When we use our Bebop Boot Camp lens to study the same lick, we only have to remember TWO SHAPES! What do you think? Ready to try it?

Start with the Christmas tune you know best and dig in! Feel free to use a song that our etudes are based on and ’steal’ any of the figures in the book for your “bopped up” melodies.

Interested in learning more about our Bebop Boot Camp methodology?

Here’s a link where you can watch the Bebop Bootcamp Orientation Lesson for FREE to help get you started:

Need your own copy of “HolidayTudes?” Get all the ebooks, play alongs and and more in "The Bop Shop" today!

Happy Holidays!


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