To make the technique work in C minor, change Dm7 to Dm7b5, and lower all Es and As by one half-step to create a C harmonic minor scale. Ex. 2 shows how the new line links up perfectly with the minor harmony.
Ex. 3 contains a cool pattern for outlining chords in a bebop context. The pattern begins with tones 1, 2, 3, and 5 of a C major scale, and then repeats starting on each subsequent note of C major. Burn these moves into your fingers; the pattern surfaces in our next example.
You can play longer lines over a turnaround progression consisting of back-to-back ii-Vs a whole-step apart, as in Ex. 4 (Em7-A7, Dm7-G7). For starters, we’ll simply “copy and paste” Ex. 2’s first measure, transposing it up a whole-step for Em7-A7. Because this phrase was originally birthed in a minor key, it includes bop-approved altered tones: a b9 (F) against Em7, and a b9 (Bb) against A7. We’ll keep Ex. 1’s notes for G7, but instead of using Ex. 1’s Dm7 phrase, let’s plug in Ex. 3’s pattern, starting on the F note. This trick lets us avoid an awkward jump from A7 to Dm7. A mix of moves from Examples 1, 2 and 3, the completed line has a nice roller-coaster shape.
When a ii-V-I progression spans three bars, each chord receives a full measure, and we need to extend our lines accordingly. Arpeggios—or “broken chords”—provide a great way to accomplish this. Basic jazz arpeggios contain the 1, 3, 5, and 7 chord tones, as shown in Ex. 5, which offers an octave’s worth of arpeggios in the key of C. To prepare for our final, monster bebop line, practice these arpeggios forward and backward.
Ex. 6 is a three-bar, ii-V-I line in the key of C. Let’s analyze it one measure at a time.
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