1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

common jazz riffs, licks etc.....

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jaggedsphere, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. jaggedsphere


    Jul 15, 2002
    anyone know of a resourse which could show me the 'common' jazz riffs and such for soloing?
  2. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    If you want to play jazz you should aim to not just string a bunch of licks together when you are doing the soloing, your brain and not your hand should be guiding you in your jazz playing.
  3. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    [​IMG] You kill me Jazzbo lol

    Seriously, though, I think it all comes down to learning jazz theory; building good walking bass lines on your own, knowing the chords you are soloing over, etc.

    Maybe listen to some jazz musicians that interest you (and also those that don't), analyze what they do in their solos, what makes those solos work?
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I never thought I'd see the day that jazzbo linked to basstabarchive. :eek:
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well , maybe this is the eventual aim - but it is good to study things that previous Jazz players have done - how they have constructed solos and how they use things like patterns, shifted in different keys.

    Many of the Jazz greats have thrown in their "Blues Licks" in solos, for example. Jazz is "idiomatic" and if you are not playing in the idiom, then there is a sense in which you are not playing Jazz, but rather just improvising. So - I have seen many musicians who improvise but they are not necessarily playing Jazz.

    I would say the best way is to listen to the greats and transcribe as much as you can - a good knowledge of theory helps you in this, but it can't necessarily help you with what to say - the Jazz idiom.

    Here's a couple of links :


  6. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Yes analyzing other players music is essential to any musician and this I agree on completely. But I can't say that I'm to fond of the idea of throwing in pre composed licks into an improvised jazz solo, playing jazz is about Swing and The Blues, as long as you have that then you are basically playing jazz. You really don't need to sound like you are comming from an era 60 years ago just to be playing jazz, I think the genre is far wider than that and allows you to improvise very freely just as long as you stick to the true essense of jazz.
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Is it? I wonder what Bruce, our resident Latin Jazz bassist would have to say about that?

    Last time I played Girl From Ip, it wasn't about swing, or the blues.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    But what is the true essence of Jazz then? It is probably the case that it has been passed on from musician to musician - with one "copping licks" from another - so going along to see someone play and taking the parts you like and integrating them into your own playing. It is all about licks in many ways.

    I think it is a myth that true Jazz musicians play "completely freely" - they will have practiced these licks many times and will use things that work and sound good . OK there are "Free Jazz" improvisors, but they are few and not all that popular - but if we're actually talking about learning the art/craft, then "copping licks" is as good a way as any!
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Not speak from experience of learing jazz, but of learning in general I agree with Bruce, copping licks is often a good way to learn, providing you learn what the lick does in context of the chord, melody, harmony, progression, section, song, club, world, universe... etc... etc... etc...
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Jaco played licks - if it was good enough for Jaco....;)
  11. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Some players never learn licks and thoose are mainly the ones I listen to, I talk in favour for their style and approach to playing jazz. But if someone has the intention to play straight jazz then surely learning licks is a great way to get into it but personally I think that you will be better off not doing it. I guess it all depends on what you want to acheive.
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I'm not doubting you, just interested... who are these players and how do you know they never learnt licks?

    I find it difficult to imagine that any great jazz player would be great without learning licks, be their own or other players?

    Licks IMO are about muscle memory as much as anything else.
    Sometimes I can hear melodies that I cant play, my fingers just wont do the work - now how else will I ever be able to play these without practicing licks?
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    OK, this is a comment to the negative - why should one NOT learn licks, how can it damage your playing?

    It makes no odds to me - I'm trying to learn the basics of walking baslines then up from there.. I'm just interested how you this could hinder your playing?
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Why - and how do you build up a idea of what Jazz is all about - the idiom - without studying licks or patterns etc?
  15. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Allan Holdsworth is one of them. He said that he never learned any licks in an interview so I'm very sure about this.

    Practicing licks can be good to learn some hard stuff when you doesn't have the chops to improvise them right on, however what I think you should strive for is to try to get enough skill to be able to improvise without needing to use prepracticed things. Sure its hard but in the end you will be better off.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I would say he is more of a rock player than a Jazz player - but here is Mark Levine's view from the "Jazz theory Book" :

    "Licks and Patterns"

    "You should practice licks and patterns to get your fingers, brain and eyes all in synch, so that you are comfortable in as wide a range of musical situations as possible. Licks and patterns should become part of your musical unconscious.....

    Use licks and patterns to get to know your instrument but try not to us them exclusively as you solo.

    That having been said, note that virtually every great soloist has practiced licks and patterns. As you practice, you might worry that you're going to end up as a copy of a player whose licks you're stealing. The fear is largely unjustified. Very few musicians wind up sounding like a clone of another player. Your notes alone do not make you a player....your embouchure, lung capacity and finger dexterity aren't the same ...neither are your life experiences. "
  17. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Ok, Wardenclyffe Tower by Allan Holdsworth is one of many cd's you could listen to.

    I love Jaco's playing but if you use his licks or variations of them in your own improvised solos then you are going to risk sounding like another Jaco imitator or worshipper.

    Sure the greats all have their own style but it doesn't necessarily mean that they learn licks before hand, it also comes from other factors.

    I never said that you can't study licks or patterns, what I said was that you should not throw them into your improvised solos.
  18. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Holdsworth is more than a jazzplayer yes but he is still an incredible jaz improviser, listen to his take on Coltranes Countdown to hear a more jazzy side of Holdsworth.

    Well its your choice what to do in the end, I do however beleive that you improvise the best when you mind dictates what you play and not muscle memory in your hands. Even Jaco basically ended up doing the same thing over and over and this is the danger, if you choose a more free way of improvising you can easily avoid this.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Ok - here is a quote from Guitar World web site from an article by John Petrucci :

    Wild Stringdom
    by John Petrucci

    Practice Makes Perfect, Part 2 Organizing your material

    "For example, let's take a look at how I filed the technical section. First, I made a list of all the technical sub-categories I could think of, and then I assigned a folder to each one. I created one folder for scales (which also included scale patterns and sequences), and another one for arpeggios. Then I had a folder on left-hand studies, where I included things such as legato licks a la Allan Holdsworth and trilling exercises. I also made a folder that contained intervallic studies, such as string-skipping licks, and one containing chop-building exercises, such as speed studies and chromatic lines.


    I rest my case!!!! :D

Share This Page