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There's a guitar reference book called Guitar Grimoire scales and modes. A chord is said to be compatible with a scale if all of its tones already are present in the scale.

The Bebop Major scale, Mode I, is: 1-2-3-4-5-b6-6-7 (degree numbers relative to Major scale, Mode I). And one of the stated compatible chords is a 9th:


However, b7 is not in the scale. One thing that came to mind is something I read a while back stating that sometimes a tone is not played in the chord, and in this case that tone would be the b7. Is that right?

Or is there something else going on? Its definitely not talked about in this volume of Grimoire.

I also tried moving the chord around over top the scale to see if the tones are present if begun on a different root note, but nope, that didn't work.

Edit Regarding, my last statement, I've found that if you start at the 5th degree, then we have:

1-2-3-4-5-b6-6-7-1-2-3-4-5-b6-6-7-... as the scale and: ........1----2---3-4---5---6-b7---1-2 =.......1--------3-----5-----b7-----9

Thus the notes are present if we translate the root of the chord up to the 5th degree of teh scale.

Does that help the question out at all, or have I gone off track and the chord is definitely not compatible when translated up like that?


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Play Bebop Dominant Scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7 – r lo Feb 28 '14 at 15:48
@rlo I am liable to run into the same problem within the book when using the Bebop Dominant scale instead. – Enjoys Math Feb 28 '14 at 16:57
when you say "...sometimes a tone is not played in the chord, and in this case that tone would be the b7. Is that right?" are you asking if sometimes a tone is missed in a chord, or if you use a b7 in this case? – Alexander Troup Feb 28 '14 at 17:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

However, b7 is not in the scale. One thing that came to mind is something I read a while back stating that sometimes a tone is not played in the chord, and in this case that tone would be the b7. Is that right?

Well, removing the b7 from a dominant chord removes the dominant quality, so that was probably not the intention. It could be a typo in the book. With that definition of compatibility, the scale and chord is not compatible. It would be compatible with a maj9, which is 1-3-7-9. For more info about the bebop scales, see

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It can't be a typo since it's done over and over, there are even 11ths, & 13ths for the Bebop Major. Here's a link to the book, please see it and comment: – Enjoys Math Feb 28 '14 at 16:52
The book might not follow its own quite strict definition of compatible then. In the dominant and minor bebop scale, the added tones are the major 7th and major 3rd respectively. I.e. tones that go against the character of the chord (minor 7th and minor 3rd, respectively). It could be hard to fit the bebop scale in a traditional theory framework; it grew out of tried practice. – Meaningful Username Feb 28 '14 at 16:58
Okay, so you're saying this could be a scale-specific issue of this book? I will look into that. – Enjoys Math Feb 28 '14 at 16:59

Bebop scales add an "extra" note as a means of allowing for quick runs without starting in a completely different place when you hit the downbeat. You can play a quick run of the scale starting on the first beat of one measure, then land on the octave of the scale on the one of the next measure.

As rigid a practice as some people make this sound, not every player does it in this way. Some people will add the natural leading-tone (the 7) to a dominant scale; others will sneak the #4/b5 in between P4 and P5, others will choose a b2 but only when descending, and so on and so forth. Others still will eschew these practices in favor of just playing a note that is already in the scale; in the example of a b7 scale, you might find someone playing the same run but adding an extra 5 in place of the natural 7, such that the run looks more like: C G Bb A G F E D C

Watch this video from Barry Harris, who basically ends up getting into a discussion about how a foolish consistency can get in the way of just playing, and how those extra notes can be just about anything, anywhere.

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You stated that the book said one of the compatible chords is has a b7...that would be the G9 chord - G B D F A. The b7 is reference to the spelling of the G maj 9 chord that would have an F#.

The chord names are in reference to the key of the root of that chord. Due to the key of C the F is natural and therefore is considered to be a b7 in reference to the key of C

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That could be it. I interpreted it as that the book was using numbers to show that it works for any key. But it could be referring to a chord starting on another degree of the scale. – Meaningful Username Feb 28 '14 at 19:29

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