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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.

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