We’re Talkin’ Bebop — melodic approach for developing a bebop-style jazz vocabulary 𝄞 treble clef by Rich Willey


Could you benefit from a collection of 150 bebop jazz phrases presented logically to make them easier for you to digest and internalize?

This book has 50 major/50 minor/50 dominant chord melodies plus guidance for aspiring beboppers.

SKU: BMJSZ013 Categories: ,


To be able to play meaningful jazz improvisations, you need to have tons of ideas in your head as well as under your fingers. So to get ideas to pour out of your horn, you have to somehow “upload” lots of ideas into your head.

That’s what We’re Talkin’ Bebop  is all about. Following some text about the process of developing a jazz vocabulary in your playing, this book contains 150 bite-sized melodic chunks in all twelve keys designed to jump start the creative process in your more-fertile-than-you-ever-thought imagination.

Starting with major chords in Part 1, you’ll play several one-bar bebop-style phrases in all twelve keys (moving up a fourth by adding one flat or subtracting one sharp). Then you play two-bar phrases over major chords in all twelve keys, fifty major passages in all.

Then you move to minor chords in Part 2, again playing short, one-bar bebop-style phrases presented in all twelve keys before moving on to two-bar phrases, fifty minor passages in all.

In Part 3, you’re playing another fifty mostly two-bar phrases over dominant chords in all twelve keys. The varying harmonic complexity of dominant phrases is explained in the text of the book to help you “discover” and create some of those “nutty” sounds you’ve heard from the greats.

You’ll be reminded of the bebop greats while you’re playing these melodies. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Clifford Brown, Hank Mobley and Kenny Dorham have their musical fingerprints all over the music in this volume. And you’ll be learning to come up with your own sounds the way they did, starting with many of the same melodic fragments that became the very fabric of the bebop genre.

If you’re looking to improve your improvising, this book is sure to assist you in attaining fluency when improvising in the bebop jazz idiom. And, since every passage is presented in every key, alto sax players, flutists, guitarists and even French horn players can all play together out of this book.

Your book comes with a page containing a link for you to easily download the play-along files for We’re Talkin’ Bebop, both MIDI and mp3. It’s about 30 minutes of gradually faster tracks, six tracks per part of the book, or 18 tracks (92 minutes) in all. You’ll also find suggestions for maximizing your play-along tools. Since you can benefit from the book with or without the play-along tracks, you are free to decide whether you want to download them and either put mp3s in your mp3 player or burn individual audio play-along CDs to use with your CD player. The MIDI files are for those who wish to modify the tracks using their favorite MIDI sequencing program or Band-In-A-Box to find more ways to benefit from the play-along aspect of this new release. Play-along tracks contain no melody instruments, only piano, bass and drums.

80 pages printed on high quality paper and GBC comb-bound to lay flat on your music stand, this beautifully engraved presentation (150 melodies in 12 keys — a total of 1800 printed phrases) is packed with hip sounds that will help get you “talkin’ bebop” like a native!

This hard-copy book will only be available here while supplies last. We are moving all of our PDF (digital downloads) to qPress.

Go to qPress for PDF downloads of this book.

View some samples pages below:
We’re Talkin’ Bebop Sample Page Major
We’re Talkin’ Bebop Sample Page Minor
We’re Talkin’ Bebop Sample Page Dominant

Here are a couple of sample tracks demonstrating practicing using the buddy system:


Customer Comments

“Hey Rich, just wanted to let you know that I practice out of your We’re Talkin’ Bebop  book religiously. This book should be in the library of anyone wanting to learn improvisation. It’s really helped me understand chord tones. Although I don’t force myself to play a certain pattern from the book, it has helped me tremendously. I realize it’s a long process. I don’t remember exactly when I ordered this book, but it took me up until last week to get through all 50 of the Major Chord Phrases. I’m starting to “see” ideas faster in my mind’s eye if that makes any sense. Also, going into the minor and V7 seems easier and overlap each other. This along with a lot of listening and outlining chord tones to standards in walking bass pattern is helping tremendously.”
— Roger Vera, trumpeter

Additional information

Weight 11 oz
Dimensions 11 × 8.5 × 0.5 in
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