Playing bebop melodies through all 12 keys can be a great practice that will help develop your ear, your analytical mind and your technique. Sometimes a whole melody can be a bit daunting so it can be nice to take just one phrase of a melody and put it through the keys. This can be a great way to incorporate some of the traditional bebop vocabulary into your playing.
Here’s a nice short melody taken from Charlie Parker’s blues composition, “Chi Chi”. The short phrase works well over a ii-7, V7, i-7 progression (i.e. D-7 G713b9 C-7) and can found in the 7th and 8th bars of the tune.
Practice singing the line first, along with the chords at the piano or with a drone. Singing all the ideas you play, slowly and in tune, will help train your ear. As David Baker used to say to me, “If you can’t sing it, you can’t hear it”.
Sing Along mp3:
Use this Mp3 to practice singing the melody while visulizing the fingerings…this is good ear training!