This is a recent release by Cecil Alexander in collaboration with Chad LB of Jazz Lesson Videos. Unlike most of Cecil’s previous releases, this is a workbook format that has more exercises rather than licks.
The material in the book reminds me of Sheryl Bailey’s Bebop Flow Part 1 & 2 series at Mike’s Masterclass. I reviewed the first bebop flow video back in 2018 here. This book would certainly work well together with that. It’s worth noting that Cecil does work in the Berklee Guitar Department as well & I wonder how much Cecil & Sheryl has talked about this topic. On a side note it would be cool to have a joint workshop with both of them discussing this topic. I certainly would enjoy that.
Related to this as well, you might like Eleonora Strino’s course that I recently reviewed. That is a good choice if you want a more step by step explanation of these kinds of sounds in a video course format.
I find that the book is a great resource if you wanna work on these kinds of bebop ideas. I tend to read through a page and start practicing the exercises to get them smooth. It’s a great workbook in that sense.
The book itself is divided into four sections:
- Master Scale List
- Pivot Arpeggio Exercise
- Arpeggio Study
All the exercises are written in 12 keys to help you practice the material in an in-depth way.
The video included with the book is one entitled “Cecil Alexander Bebop Scale Workbook Rough Cut” which is a slightly longer (by 27 seconds) version of the video that you see on YouTube. I’m not sure whether any other video was intended to be included but it is a helpful video with Cecil explaining some of the exercises and phrases in the book. You also get mp3 recordings of the phrases and backing tracks to help practice sesssions.
To conclude, this book is a welcome addition to Cecil’s educational resources. The fact that this is the most “workbook” or “method” kind of material he’s released will likely be helpful to anyone who has been practicing his licks but not understand the concepts behind his lines.
Pros: A really in-depth book with tons of exercises to help you internalize the bebop scale sound.
Cons: No videos of Cecil playing through all the exercises, just through some of examples.
TLDR: If you’re looking for daily exercises to help you get bebop chops, this might be a helpful book to get.
You can get this at: https://www.jazzlessonvideos.com/product-page/treble-clef-tab-bebop-workbook
Also… if you enjoyed this review and want to read my past reviews of Cecil’s works, do check out my review of his excellent Picking Masterclass and reviews on his musical exercises (Pentatonic Licks (Static Harmony) & Pentatonic Licks (II-V-I) by Cecil Alexander, Assorted Licks & Minor II-V Lines by Cecil Alexander and Musical Exercises Review: Bebop II-V Phrases, All The Things You Are Etude, Solar Etude (Melodic Minor Modes) and Green Dolphin Street Solo Arrangement by Cecil Alexander
You can read my previous reviews in this series featuring Cecil Alexander here:
Book Review: 57 Double Time Lines by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 56 Hip Licks by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 50 ii-V-I Licks by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 20 Bebop Etudes by Cecil Alexander
Book Review: 30 Exercises on Static Harmony by Cecil Alexander
For my thoughts on his work on the pickupmusic website, check out:
Licks Package: 10 Advanced II V I Licks by Cecil Alexander
Licks Package: 10 Must-Know Bebop Licks by Cecil Alexander