How To Approach 2-5-1 Licks

Hey all,

I hope the world is being kind to you! Today I uploaded a video discussing how I would approach learning a 2-5-1 lick. These licks are some of the foundational vocabulary Jazz Musicians use to improvise and are something that every Jazz guitarist will confront at some point in their musical life. To help ease the learning process I have written out a collection of five licks, 3 in C Major and 2 in C minor. I will break down how I approach learning these below, but if you would rather watch my video you can find that here  

Step 1: Learn and master the lick as written. Pay attention to what scale degree’s are being used and what the lick sounds like. Start playing it free of time and then slowly start to bring it up in tempo.

Step 2: Try to find at least 2 other ways to finger it. If you’re starting from a note of the A string, see what changes if you play the same lick starting on the low E string. What about if you start from the D string? Being flexible in terms of how many positions you can begin from will allow you the most freedom to utilize these licks in your own improvisations.

Step 3: Now that you’ve learned multiple positions its time to start moving them around the circle of fifths so that you gradually work on them in all 12 keys. The 1 chords around the circle of fifths would be as follows: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G. 

That’s it for me today, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me through my contact page. Happy practicing!


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