Jazz Guitar Patterns and Licks
What's a lick
A guitar lick is a short musical phrase, a part of a melody, a musical idea or a fragment of a solo. A lick is transposable, it means that you can (and you have to !!) play it in all twelve musical keys. It is also transferable, which means that a lick can be played in other songs.
What's a melodic pattern
Patterns and licks have subtle differences in meaning. A melodic pattern (it can be rhythmic too) is designed to be repeated again and again and can be used to describe melodic lines that jazz musicians play when improvising over chord progressions. Musical patterns are useful devices to build improvised jazz guitar lines and solos.
This page provides links to free lesson about common jazz guitar licks and patterns (major, dominant, minor, half-diminished, diminished) with tabs, standard notation and analysis.
How to learn those lines
Practicing those jazz guitar lines will expend your music vocabulary and increase your sense of improvisation. Be sure to play them in twelve keys and make them evolve in order to create your own musical ideas. Here are some practice tips :
- Practice each lick slowly with a metronome. Be sure to practice slow at first, then try to increase progressively the speed of each lick
- Play them in all 12 keys.
- Try to change the fingerings by adding various techniques as slide, hammer-on, pull-off.
- Build your own licks from what you have learned with these licks.
- Try to Apply each lick into your improvisations.
- Try to incorporate the related chords into these lines in order to hear the harmony.
- Use backing tracks to practice.
- Play the chords while singing the licks.
Melodic patterns are very useful and important tools to expand you jazz guitar improvisation skills. You will find in this free guitar lesson five exercises about major jazz lines with TABS, standard notation and analysis to play over major seventh chords.