[Sheet Music]

Lesson 42: Licks/ Patterns


Licks are important. Licks are standard phrases that are part of the language of a particular genre/ style.

The context is important. You don't use the same licks when you play the blues as when you play bossa nova. Why - because the language is different. An equivalent from real life would be that the English language on the street in Harlem is very different from that in a play by Shakespeare.

II-V-I Licks

It's a good idea to build a personal library of favorite standard phrases that go over a II-V-I progression. Practice and learn the phrases by heart in as many keys and as many positions as possible.

Here is a nice one:

It can even be adapted to minor:

Here is a nice one that works in both major and minor as it is:

Here is a one page collection of my personal favorite II-V-I licks: Greatest Licks.


Patterns can be used to create interest in the lines. One thing you need to work on is patterns that you can use over a tonic chord for several bars.

Here is a nice one:

It can also be adapted to minor:

Here is another pattern for Cmaj7 or Dm7:

Some more patterns for a tonic chord: Cmaj7 Licks & Patterns, Dm7 Licks & Patterns and G7 Licks & Patterns

2007 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.