Book Review: Developing Bebop Lines by Jeff Ellwood


This is such a great book.

If you want to learn how you can create your own bebop lines, Jeff Ellwood has distilled the most important things in this book. This 58 page book is divided to 8 topics:

  • Developing Bebop Lines
  • Major Bebop Scales
  • Resolving V7 to I
  • Altered Bebop Scales
  • Bebop Scales From Non-Primary Chord Tones
  • Combining Diatonic 7ths with Bebop Scales
  • Bebop using 4ths
  • Etudes

Jeff Ellwood shares techniques and lesson that he created for his students in this book. With a combination of text explanations and extremely a lot of written musical examples, the book demystifies the basics of bebop lines.

For the serious student, there’s a lot of suggestions of how to learn the lines and create you own. This is very refreshing than some books that I’ve encountered where the material is too dry and academic. Also, rather than just giving many musical examples, Jeff Ellwood breaks down the elements so that the topics are easily digestible.

As I practice the material, I ended up working on a page for a long time. I particularly love the variety and detail that he goes into. So many of the lines open up new ways of varying and spicing up what I would typically do.

There’s so much value and Jeff Ellwood makes it even easier to see by writing the dominant examples all over G7 and the Major Bebop lines over Cmajor7 in the first 3 chapters. I love the fact that instead of making the book bigger by transposing all the examples in all 12 keys, Jeff Ellwood keeps it compact in this book in one key for entire chapters.

The 6 etudes included are a great part addition to the book as well since it gives more context for combining the different concepts in the book. To close the book, there’s also a great appendix with additional bebop scale exercises, octave displacements of the bebop scales and some bebop lines for fast tempos.

All in all, for USD$15, Jeff gives tremendous value and knowledge for aspiring jazz students interested in the bebop language.

Pros: Lots of examples, clear explanations on how to practice, how the lines and exercises are created and etudes for context
Cons: None.
TLDR: For any instrumentalist, if you want to learn to play bebop and are looking for some practical structure and exercises to augment your transcribing and jams, this is a good book to get.

How to Buy:
You can get the book here:
https://www.jeffellwood.net/developing-bebop-lines.html

[Read more Reviews]

Review #18

Book Review: The Acoustic Jazz Guitarist by Sean McGowan

Review #17

Video Review: Essential Percussive Guitar Riffs with Jon Gomm

Review #16

Video Review: Minor Line Concepts by Jay Umble

Review #15

Video Review: 8 Sets of Jazz Blues Changes by Randy Johnston

Review #14

Book Review: The Thesaurus of Scale Tone Chords by Alex Rogowski

Review #13

Video Review: Bebop Flow – Connecting Harmonic Concepts with the Family of 4 by Sheryl Bailey

Review #12

Book Review: Improvising Without Scales – The Intervallic Guitar System of Carl Verheyen

Review #11

Course Review: Liquid Fire Legato by Nick Layton

Review #10

Video Review: Dave Hill – Motif Development (Jazz Guitar Society)

Review #09

Book Review: A Guide to Developing a Chromatic Approach to Improvisation by Tony Greaves

Review #08

Course Review: Fundamentals of Picking by Fretboard Anatomy

Review #07

Book Review: Principles of Music by Bryan Baker

Review #06

Book Review: The Tao of Badass Guitar by Ben Higgins

Review #05

Book Review: Bach Scales by Jon De Lucia

Review #04

Book Review: Extended Scale Playing for Guitar by Joe Puma

Review #03

Book Review: Between the Voicings by Hristo Vitchev

Review #02

Book Review: Voicing Modes – A Chord Voicing Approach to Hearing and Practicing Modes by Noel Johnston

Review #01

Book Review: The Outside Sounds and Substitutions of Modern Saxophonists for Jazz Guitar by Kevin Miller

[Submissions for Review Consideration]

  • Are you an author who wrote a jazz, guitar or music book?
  • Have you created a DVD or an online video course or subscription based website?
  • Would you like me to review your book/course?

Please send me a message at azsamad2 at gmail.com with:

For courses: a link to the course/video/product + access info etc.
For books: a link to the book (Dropbox) or PDF attachment (if it’s small) for review consideration.

Depending on whether I dig the book/course, I’ll let you know if I do plan to review it!

I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p

NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig? 🙂

Join my newsletter to get more guitar playing tips & lessons!

* indicates required


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *