The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by James W View Post
    If I'm honest, aside from one or two things here and there, I've never actually learnt licks, preferring instead to concentrate on stringing together patterns derived from scales across the changes, as well as embellished arpeggios, and basically hoping for the best when it comes to actually playing a tune. Anyone who has seen me play recently can gauge how successful an approach this has been lol. So yeah, I really need to spend time regularly writing and adopting licks and work on getting them into how I play a tune. I do have several chorus-length etudes I've written which need work on too. I like to write these things down as then it's something to work off of, something objective which I can then work on varying. Ars longa, vita brevis etc.
    I’ve been trying to use other ideas more lately, but normally I think I’m pretty similar with the way I usually come up with lines.

    Thats probably why I’m so obsessed with changing the pitch levels and interval leaps and things like that. That’s kind of how I’m used to playing, so even when I’m starting with someone else’s line, I see it that way.

    And what’s your experience with writing etudes? Never quite hit with me but I have a buddy (saxophone) who does it all the time. All. The. Time.

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  3. #102

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    So I was checking out the Barney Kessel licks page and was getting a little frustrated because I wasn't hearing Barney in them. So I went and found a lick from Barney I liked. I'll try some variations and post later.

  4. #103

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    I do endlessly practice short, simple, easy to remember one bar licks/riffs that fit my style. A lick that I'll know I'll be able to utilise immediately in many keys and chord types. If the lick is too complex for me, I'll never remember it.

    Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, the three R's.

    This sort of thing:

    Last edited by GuyBoden; 06-14-2023 at 05:02 AM.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    If the lick is too complex for me, I'll never remember it.]
    Definitely. And it becomes less open to variation. I'd rather keep licks simple and add the complexity myself.

    Are you all familiar with the concept of reduced melody? I think that can go for licks and lines too. The important notes become the general contour, and we can fill in whatever other information we want. Or not.

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Definitely. And it becomes less open to variation. I'd rather keep licks simple and add the complexity myself.

    Are you all familiar with the concept of reduced melody? I think that can go for licks and lines too. The important notes become the general contour, and we can fill in whatever other information we want. Or not.
    I don’t think I am. Makes sense from context, but maybe elaborate a bit?

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by pamosmusic View Post
    I don’t think I am. Makes sense from context, but maybe elaborate a bit?
    So basically (and I'm not an expert, but from what I do get it has helped me immensely in understanding the meloduc countour of a tune)

    Take the melody...

    Remove any repeated notes

    Remove anything that's a passing chromatic

    Remove any enclosures around "key notes."

    Try to get every bar down to a whole note or 2 halfs.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by pamosmusic View Post
    I’ve been trying to use other ideas more lately, but normally I think I’m pretty similar with the way I usually come up with lines.

    Thats probably why I’m so obsessed with changing the pitch levels and interval leaps and things like that. That’s kind of how I’m used to playing, so even when I’m starting with someone else’s line, I see it that way.

    And what’s your experience with writing etudes? Never quite hit with me but I have a buddy (saxophone) who does it all the time. All. The. Time.
    I have good experience writing etudes - trying out concepts, writing something that I might think will be interesting... my powers of audiation are limited so really it's only after playing through it that I know what it really sounds like. So - good experience writing them for sure, it's just the learning them part which I procrastinate over!

    But I thought I'd share this with you, a few hours' work. My improv on 'Alice In Wonderland' just sounded naff so I thought I'd write something to bounce ideas off, and get something going. It's a beautiful tune. I guess you could call this an etude, I mean in reality you'd want to leave more pauses than I do here, but that's because like I say, I have something utilising chromaticism, altered scales, sequences, leaps, triplet arpeggios etc. which I can then modify or leave stuff out of etc. Still need to write something for the B section and return of the A section to make this a full chorus, but this is enough to get going for now.


  9. #108

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    Number 4. Barney Kessel style...a good bit slower than on the record


  10. #109

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    Chromatic Lick Everyone Should Know (and you probably already do)

    It's just running up chromatically from a b3 to the 5th. I think of it as the saxophone lick.

    Attached Images Attached Images Modular lick compendium-chromatic-lick-everyone-should-know-jpg 

  11. #110

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    This is what I was doing in post 13.
    First time with Ashampoo recorder
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. #111

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    Alright the final installment of That One Lick From Gone With What Wind.

    I have a few more ideas but they’re a little out there, so I’m nearing tapped out.

    This is just me playing and using that lick—or some version of it—as often as humanly possible.

    Anyway …



    … I will absolutely be posting more stuff, but rest assured it won’t be in nearly such exhaustive detail.

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    I do endlessly practice short, simple, easy to remember one bar licks/riffs that fit my style. A lick that I'll know I'll be able to utilise immediately in many keys and chord types. If the lick is too complex for me, I'll never remember it.

    Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, the three R's.

    This sort of thing:

    Nice! I believe the hip young cats might call that a “cell”

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Number 4. Barney Kessel style...a good bit slower than on the record

    Awesome. This is super interesting. I tend toward that super systematic kind of stuff and then just play and see what happens and bounce between those extremes. But this is kind of a middle of the dial I think I skip a lot. Super cool.

    Also … I’m curious if you can say more about why you’d leave that first four bars alone? Not having worked on this lick, I think I can say pretty safely that I would’ve left the last four bars alone for a while and had the first four for breakfast.

  15. #114

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    Y'know, mut gut reaction to those first 4 bars was that they were perfect as-is. But ill certainly mess with them. Kinda want to find a way that isn't just "adding more notes" though.

  16. #115

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    A chromatic lick in the other direction. This one reminds me of Jerry Garcia.

    Attached Images Attached Images Modular lick compendium-jerry-lick-png 
    Last edited by fep; 06-11-2023 at 01:06 PM.

  17. #116

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    A la Jimmy Raney.

    Yes, there are still great things to be said with the major scale.


  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    A la Jimmy Raney.

    Yes, there are still great things to be said with the major scale
    Sounds Caribbean to me. But nice

    (Was that the one about 1.04 just before he speeds up?)

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    A la Jimmy Raney.

    Yes, there are still great things to be said with the major scale.
    I like it. Gypsy to me.

  20. #119

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    Today's lick has both the ascending and descending chromatic bit of my previous two licks over a ii V I


  21. #120

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    So this is something a little different but I’ve been working on this at the suggestion of a friend recently, and the idea came up recently on another thread here (the Why do I still suck thread). Anyway … not working on a lick, exactly but working on the rhythm of a lick.


  22. #121

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    Here's another short riff/lick in my style:

    Yes, the frets look wonky, because it's a fan fret guitar I built recently.

    Last edited by GuyBoden; 06-14-2023 at 06:01 AM.

  23. #122

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    The problem was trying to find a simple but effective lick out of any number of them. There are innumerable transcriptions and any Charlie Parker lick would have done. But I didn't see the point of posting stuff anyone can find.

    As a matter of fact, there are YouTube vids of multiple Parker licks and multiple bebop licks by other players. The thing about bebop licks is they're quite generic; one could almost fit them in anywhere. You can do that with bluegrass too.

    But, in the case of a lot of the other players, their licks, extracted from solos, were good but obviously suited to, and played for, a particular tune at the time. So the question was whether they're what we want here? So if we don't mind that sort of thing, and I'm not sure about it, I thought I may as well provide my own.

    These licks are from an old version of Stella I did some time ago (so no self-conscious lick playing) over the part in the A section that goes

    Fm7 - Bb7 - EbM7 - Ab7

    I thought that was a fairly useful selection. Make of it what you will... if you can actually be bothered with it at all, that is. You might be able to get some ideas from it, you never know. Again, apologies for the midi, it's just not human, is it?

    Modular lick compendium-1-jpg

    Modular lick compendium-2-jpgModular lick compendium-3-jpgModular lick compendium-4-jpg

    Last edited by ragman1; 06-15-2023 at 08:45 PM.

  24. #123

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    Instead of giving midi examples, it is better to play your favorite lick and make a musical notation.

  25. #124

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    I've already done that twice.

  26. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Jimmy Bruno once said he never transcribed whole solos. He picked up licks here and there.

    Here's a short video of him playing the changes of "I Remember You" and then going over a familiar Charlie Parker line.

    Having learned a lot of whole solos, I think it is an extremely useful exercise. It gives you a sense of the logic of an entire statement. We always like to mouth the cliche that a solo should "tell a story" well, imagine a story in which you only tell the 3rd act. When I hear someone like Jimmy Raney, I don't just hear vocabulary, I hear a long, powerfully logical, steadily building set of ideas. While I certainly do want to have the vocabulary and am a shameless learner of licks, which I love as if they were pets, I also have found it really helpful to get a whole 32 or even 64 bar statement under my belt so I can ponder not just the "words" (licks) but how they make for great ideas.

    I'm totally 100% for learning licks, but I don't understand why so many think learning a whole solo is not productive. For a genius like Jimmy Bruno, I can see his point; for a non-genius like me, I like seeing a big-picture, the architecture, of a player's expression as well as the building blocks.