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Jazz Trumpet Licks


Major diatonic triad pattern played over some standard Jazz blues

Posted on April 03, 2014 by Justin Malizia

This Jazz pattern is pretty easy to learn and incorporate into your Jazz solos. It is basically triads based of a major scale with an added half step in between each diatonic triad going up the major scale.

Diatonic triad lick with half step

Here is a sample played on trumpet over some standard Jazz blues:

How to memorize this jazz pattern in 12 keys:

This pattern makes us think about 2 major scales at the same time, so the best way to learn this pattern in all 12 keys is to first think about working up the ‘primary scale’, which is the scale we are going to work up the diatonic triads over each mode. Example over C major: CEG DFA EGB FAC GBD ACE BDF. After you have become comfortable with the triads, then start incorporating a half step below each of the triads.

In this example it will outline a B major scale. Once you are ready to incorporate the ‘lick’ into a jazz solo keep in mind that you do not have to start the lick at the beginning of the scale, as I have demonstrated in my playing. Experiment taking one pattern, and starting the lick in different spots to hear how it fits within the chord you are playing over.

I have found in my playing that it can be a flashy attention grabber if played at a burning tempo. Start off slow and continue to build up speed, and as always, have fun with it.

Basic descending chromatic lick that outlines a whole tone scale

Posted on March 06, 2014 by Justin Malizia

This lick is a very interchangeable Jazz lick incorporating chromaticism while outlining the whole tone scale. This lick works very well over dominant chords as well as augmented chords.

Chromatic Whole Tone Lick

Here is a sound sample played on trumpet over the tune Triste:

How to memorize this Jazz pattern in 12 keys:

Start by practicing the lick starting on C and then C#, whole tone, so you only need to learn the pattern in 2 sequences if you think about it. Once that becomes comfortable then try starting the lick on D, and then on D# etc, etc. The key is to become comfortable enough with the lick so you can go ‘out of the bubble’ so to speak, as long as you land on a chord tone.

If you look closely at this pattern, you’ll notice seeing a descending whole tone scale, do you see it? This should help make the pattern easier to remember in all 12 keys.

Basic pentatonic lick that moves by tritone and is great for slipping in and out of minor keys played over a C minor 7 vamp

Posted on February 17, 2014 by Jay Gillespie

This is a basic super hip minor pentatonic side slipping lick where I move by tritone every bar. This Jazz lick is great practice for slipping out of and back into any minor key you are soloing in. I’m playing this pattern on a Bb tenor saxophone so it will sync well on trumpet.

Minor pentatonic pattern.

Here is a sound sample over a C minor 7 vamp played on tenor saxophone:

How to memorize this pentatonic Jazz pattern in 12 keys:

The best way to get comfortable with this lick is to memorize it in one key at a time and memorize the pattern, not the notes. The pattern is (from whatever note you start on in the minor pentatonic scale), skip one note going down. For example, in Cmin7 pentatonic, start on C, skip the Bb and go to the G. Then go down one scale degree, in this case to the F. Then go back to the note you skipped, the Bb. Then continue on down one scale degree, the G, and repeat the process. It is a 4 note pattern starting on every other scale degree of the minor pentatonic scale. Skip one, down one, back to the one you skipped, down one. Once you are comfortable with playing that basic lick in all twelve keys you can start moving the pattern by tritone. If you start on the root and play two permutations of the pattern you will always land a half step away from the root of the key a tritone away. So starting on C: C G F Bb, G Eb C F. Simply go up a half step from the F to the F# and play the pattern in F#. You’ll end two permutations in F# on the note B. Just go up a half step to C and do it all again.

The pattern works exactly the same ascending. Skip one, up (instead of down one), back to the one you skipped, up (instead of down one). Ideally you want to get to the point that you can slip out of and into any key you want regardless of the scale degree (not just using the root). This just gives you an easy jumping off point to hearing how it sounds to play a tritone away from the rhythm section and because you leave and return to each key on a strong scale degree, the tonality is very clearly defined.



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