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The all famous Cry Me a River Jazz lick

Posted on May 09, 2009 by Sweets

Here is the all famous Cry Me a River Jazz lick. It is heard all over the Jazz world by every famous Jazz musician in some variation or another. If you don’t have this Jazz lick in your bag of tricks yet, I highly encourage you to get it down in 12 keys as soon as you can. It really is a fun lick to use in your improvised solos.

Cry Me a River Lick - Jazz lick 24

Here is a sound sample played on trumpet:

How to learn the Cry Me a River lick in 12 keys:

I put this lick in the diminished category even though it is not completely a diminished lick. Every note in the lick is part of the diminished scale except for Ab (this is if we were thinking in Db, E, G, or Bb diminished). I could be wrong though, I’m not a big Jazz theory specialist.

In my experience, memorizing the Cry Me a River lick in 12 keys came easiest through feel or muscle memory rather than actual theory. There are many forms and variations you can do with the Cry Me a River lick. One simple example I use a lot is on the V7 to I chord I’ll start on the minor 3rd of the V7 chord, do the Cry Me a River lick and land on the 5th of the I chord (the above example shows this).





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7 to “The all famous Cry Me a River Jazz lick”

  1. Really what I needed. Thanks I have been looking for this sort of info for a long time. I have bookmarked your blog to enable me to read more on the subject

  2. Saxy boy says:

    It is from the altered scale (C altered in this example), rather than diminished. C altered scale = Db melodic minor starting on the seventh scale degree (witch is C).

    Sweets Reply:

    Thanks for the input on that.

  3. chinedu elechi says:

    Good one. Tanx

  4. Joie says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

    Sweets Reply:

    Email me and I will work with you to get a blog set up.

  5. Leoniepony says:

    Thank you for this and lovely video x



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