Lick of the Week 18: July 1
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This week's lick is an example of the sort of thing I play over long vamps. When you're faced with one chord for an extended period of time, licks like this can make your solo lines more interesting.
For this lick, designed to sit over a C7 chord, you'll notice the last half of the first measure clearly outlines a B diminished, or the 3-5-7 of a G7 chord. That gives us a departure from the C7 chord tones while also leading us back into the E natural with a chromatic enclosure. The basic idea is to suggest a I-V-I progression even though the harmony behind your solo doesn't change.
This sort of lick stays inside the key and creates a strong, fundamental harmonic motion. You can also create licks that go leave the key altogether with chromatic shifts, or by suggesting more complex harmonic motion (ie. Coltrane changes). We'll look at some of those possibilities in future Lick of the Week lessons.
If you've enjoyed the last few months of Lick of the Week, please see my other guitar and mandolin lessons on this blog. I am also available for private guitar and mandolin lessons in NYC or via Skype.