BE-BOP HEADS FOR TECHNIQUE:
A nice way to keep our playing chops in top form is to work on challenging melodies-- or "heads", as Jazz musicians like to call them.
Be-Bop melodies are just perfect for that.
What falls under the Be-Bop category are tunes generally written by Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, or Dizzy Gillespie.
Here are a few melodies I remind myself to play regularly at various tempos:
"Blues For Alice"
"Dance Of The Infidels"
"Scrapple From The Apple"
Other melodies I like to keep under my fingers are those that have a lot of legato lines. The legato effect is achieved with slurs (which is played on the guitar with a combination of Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs).
Here are the ones I like:
"Song For My Father"
Those are not all strictly Be-Bop compositions per se, but they are well-worth studying!
What makes all of those melodies challenging for us guitarists is the fact that we need to figure out a practical fingering, and pretty much stick to it and memorize it-- as opposed to what we usually do with most other tunes, which is come-up with a fingering on the spot, as we can do on a Ballad for example.
This is pretty much like what Classical musicians do, after all. In our case, those Be-Bop heads become our "etudes".
(by the way, some of them can be played in 2 different registers.)
Feel free to contact me for hand-outs showing my preferred fingerings for those melodies.
Here's my fingering for "Anthropology" for example:
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