# 2-5-1 licks

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by scorch, Mar 20, 2010.

1. ### scorch

Jun 29, 2009
I searched the site and couldn't find anything related to this, so I thought I might ask, my teacher says I should be learning some 2-5-1 licks for turn arounds and the like, so what kind of licks do you guys use?

2. ### jazzbo

Aug 25, 2000
San Francisco, CA
3. ### MalcolmAmos

Interval # 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
C scale.....C-D-E-F-G-A-B
2-5-1 where are the D-G-C notes?
Decide where the 1 note will be. There is a C on the 4th string 8th fret. Where is the 2 compared to the 1. It is always on the same string and over two frets.
Where is the 5 compared to the 1. It is always up a string and over two frets. Always. And look it's right over the 2 - right on top of it! Always.

OK do a 2-5-1 riff in the key of G. find the G that's your 1. Where is the 2? Same string over two frets. Where is the 5? Next string up from the 2, i.e, right over the 2. WOW this is going to be a piece of cake.
How about a 2-5-1 in the key of A. Find the 1 or A - 4th string 5th fret. Take it from here.
How about a 2-5-1 in the key of D. Find the 1 or D - 4th string 10 fret.

That 2-5-1 pattern is the same all over your fretboard.

Now there is a C on the 3rd string 3rd fret. Where is it's 2? Same place - same string over two frets. Where is the 5th? again same place as always. Isn't that great!
There is a D on the 3rd string 5th fret. Does this pattern work with the D on the 3rd string? You bet it does!

D-G-C notes - look on the 4th string 10th fret - just go up the fret - D G C yep, C on the 2nd string is the 8 interval or the begining note in a new octave. See if he wants you messing with that pattern for your 2-5-1 stuff. Probably not ready for two octave stuff. Do what ever your instructor says.

Have fun.

4. ### 251

Oct 6, 2006
Metro Boston MA
No need to invent this for yourself. Jamie Aebersold has a play-a-long that may be more than you ever wanted to know;

http://aebersold.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvcScreen=PROD&Product_Code=RIC3&Category_Code=

5. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

No, this is not what he's talking about at all.

ii-V7-I (chords, not notes)

Jamey Aebersold has a great book on turnarounds and cycles. Mike Steinel wrote a great book called "Building a Jazz Vocabulary" (it's all in treble clef). There are a lot of resources available on this type of playing.

6. ### scorch

Jun 29, 2009
thanks for the help so far guys, I'll talk to my teacher about the books, and keep you posted

7. ### jweiss

Jul 5, 2007
Park City, Utah
8. ### jazzbo

Aug 25, 2000
San Francisco, CA
Going back to the Aebersold book I posted at the top, which I highly recommend:

It starts with ii-V7-I changes in each key going through the cycle of fifths. It has all the notes of the scale/chord. (Remember, these are all play-along). Then, it has a sequence of random ii-V7 progressions. There's also V7+9-I (dim whole tone resolving to tonic), it has half-dim to dim whole tone to tonic, minor keys, bebop and blues, and then a section that goes through the various changes with patterns.

If you really spend some time on this book, it's going to open up a lot for you (harmonically). Good luck.

Jul 1, 2009
San Diego, CA
Honestly...most of the time i just 'cheat' the ii V7 I by playing a mixolydian (on the I) over the whole thing.

did i lose the game?

10. ### mambo4

Jun 9, 2006
Dallas
Unless I misunderstand you, playing I mixolydian would make the V chord minor.

11. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
Yeah, you'd want mixolydian on the V...

Jul 1, 2009
San Diego, CA
yes...my mistake. i meant on the V. it was late! haha

13. ### JTESupporting Member

Mar 12, 2008
Central Illinois, USA
Duh... That's because Mixolydian off the V, Ionian off the I, or even Aeolian off the vi are all the same!! This is why I find the teaching of modes for chordal music to be so pointless. ii V I defines a key center, which means that section of those three chords share a common scale. There's no utility in shifting mental gears to think of them as three separate scales.

If you know the chord tones, and you know the key center, then use the chord tones to target resolution points, and use the parent scale for your passing tones. Now if your idea of "using" a scale or mode is to mostly just play from root to root, this is going to sound lame. But if you think in terms of music and "using" the scale is to think of the scale as your pallet of choices, then it's very easy to work through ii V I.

John

14. ### jweiss

Jul 5, 2007
Park City, Utah
The utility of undestanding the relationship between chords and modes for diatonic harmony becomes clear once one begins to study approaches to altering the chords (e.g., the V7). If you can get though a ii7-V7-Imaj7 thinking of the chord tones and "chord scale" for each chord (dorian - mixolydian - ionian), it becomes much easier to get through, e.g., a iim7b5 - V7#9b13 - Imaj7#11, since there is no longer a parent scale for the chord scales.

And then of course when one studies the minor ii-V-i progression, there is typically not a parent scale for the most "inside" chords / chord scales...

Jul 1, 2009
San Diego, CA
Thats why i used the word CHEAT! haha.

Can you explain that thought a little more though? When using the V mixo over a ii V I, i know all the notes are in the tonic scale...and i dont think of it as three different scales...i think of it as 1 mode. Now, im speaking more for improv, and less for bassline walking. I feel ive been stuck at a wall in my improv scale/note/arpeg choices so maybe theres a gem in there....

16. ### Don Sibley

Jun 27, 2005
Fort Worth, TX
My teacher called this technique of using the tonic scale over chords of a related key "blanketing". I still believe it's a good place to start. It keeps them from hovering around the root of the chord so much. It does not end there, but it can get newbies up and improvising, gaining confidence a little quicker than the alternative. I'm speaking about younger students of course, not college age.

To take things a little further, I typically have students blanket an entire blues form (V-IV cadence) with the minor pentatonic, just to get their feet wet.

Walking basslines are a different approach.

Just my opinion.

17. ### 4MalSupporting Member

Jun 2, 2002
Columbia River Gorge
licks... I hate licks... most of the time it'll kill a groove faster than a drunk drummer ... OK - maybe not that fast. Unless there is some way to connect the dots with a composed line that supports the melody then... (Assuming Imaj) then ii-vi-V-ii-iib-I whilst stomping the groove is about as fancy as I ever need to get... almost all the variations on that theme for me exist on the vi. might be a V# or IV# or maybe a iii - what ever it is, I'm probably stomping that ii, V, I hard. That way we all enter the next verse owning the 1 and that lets everybody relax just a bit.

I'd rather let the horn & drum corps / gui**** take the glory whilst making sure we swing ... boring, I know... and I'm obviously aiming at a real straight ahead setting... More Brown than Mingus...

18. ### dvh

Sep 1, 2006
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Or, guys like me - 50 and only a couple of years on DB...

19. ### JTESupporting Member

Mar 12, 2008
Central Illinois, USA
OK, when someone says "use D Dorian for the Dmin7, G Mixolydian for the G7, and C Ionian for the Cmaj7" I find it pointless. That's because those three chords define the key center of C major. So instead of thinking of them as three separate entities, think of them as the key of C. For both soloing and playing bass lines, it's the same thing. The chord tones are your targets. That in NO WAY means you only use chord tones/arpeggios. It means while playing under or over that Dmin7 you're aware that the chord tones are D F A C, and that you're in the key of C. So a solid fundamental bass line will have the chord tones as your primary target notes on the strong beats, and other notes from the C scale as your likely candidates for passing tones.

Instead of thinking of different modes for those three chords, I'm thinking "I want to get the root on one, and try to get the fifth in there. Don't need the third because the guitarist is getting that. I'm in C so F is the passing note, not F# except that F# moving from the F of the Dmin7 to the root of the G is very cool". Actually, I don't think all that, but it's the background. I know F is in the key, not F#. I know the key has B natural, not Bb so I don't focus on Bb unless I want that tension from a chromatic note.

Thing is, passing tones don't HAVE to be in the key anyway. So I find chord tones the most useful way to approach bass lines while looking at ways to tie chords together. That's our job. Define the harmony. And in chordal music, the harmony is cohesive so we need to be cohesive.

For soloing, after you get to the point where you're comfortable with knowing where the chord tones are and how to negotiate them with some fluidity, forget all this theory crap. That's when you need to put your instrument in its case and LISTEN to the progression over which you're going to solo. Play the progression several times (a lot of several time), and listen to it while thinking about what a good solo should sound like. Then record yourself SINGING that solo over the progression. Only then do you get your instrument out, and learn exactly what you sang. That solo will be your voice's first expression, not your fingers' expression nor your brain's theory. Learn EXACTLY what you sang even if it's weird. Then analyze what you sang. Note where it's chord tones, where it's tones of the parent scale (if any) and where it's chromatic.

Do the same analysis thing with great solos out there. Now, that generally means horn players because as much as I like guitarists (HUGE fan of Clapton, Beck, and Hendrix), they're generally not great musical improvisers (emotional, and evocative soloist yes, but not great improvisers). With the exceptions of Mike Stern and Duane Allman, I'd concentrate instead on players like Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, etc. Dig how they approach ballads especially- learn the melody to the standards and listen to how they improvise around the melody.

Doesn't have to be heavy duty jazz for this= for example, Miles did a great recording of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" so you could use that as a good place to start learning how to use your voice.

The point is that once you understand the alphabet (scales and chords), and you learn some basic vocabulary (common progressions and how they've been played) then you need to also learn to express yourself. I love theory, but it's only the means to the end, it's in no way the end at all.

John
Man, that's a LONG post... It probably rambles too, but I don't have time to edit it now... I apologize- as Abraham Lincoln once said "I am sorry for the long letter, I didn't have time to write a short one."

20. ### Fergie Fulton

Nov 22, 2008
Braintree
Retrovibe Artist rota
Well i for one think it needed to be said, keep it simple, its music.

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