Three Great Licks

I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about licks; it’s not the way I was taught jazz, but occasionally it is a useful concept, and specific licks are well worth transcribing or working out (then ideally promptly forgetting until they drop into your playing naturally). The first one is so famous it is simply known as “The Lick”, and it has a facebook group dedicated to documenting its numerous appearances. The second lick I’ve been looking at appears in Nina Simone’s “Why (The King Of Love Is Dead)”, dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King Jr, and the lick in question appears in the line “He was not a violent man”, and comprises a soulful lift in “violent”. The final lick I’ve been looking at appears (98s in) in Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life”, and is surprisingly easy on the chromatic harmonica when you’ve figured out what he’s doing (and an app to slow the piece down helps a lot!)

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