Lick of the Week 9: April 29
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This week's lick is one of my favorite jazz licks--it lays on the guitar so well and can be applied to several different progressions. I originally transcribed this from Joe Pass, playing over the a ii-V-i. In this case it would be in the key of Dm: Em7(b5) - A7(#5) - Dm7.
The lick uses the Super Locrian Scale, which is an intimidatingly awesome name for the last mode of the melodic minor scale, which also sounds a little intimidating. An easier way to think of it, perhaps, is "One, flat everything." Here's we're using A Super Locrian, so the notes are A Bb C Db Eb F G. See how every note other than the first is half a step lower than a major scale? Another way to think of it is as an Ab major scale, but play an A natural instead of Ab.
I know that gets confusing, but that's why licks like this are so convenient. It works over any altered dominant chord.