Bad Licks








Gimme $5 and get a PDF of all the bad lick entries (15 as of 7/17/17):

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About These Bad Licks:

I originally posted a video of me practicing on Instagram on a Saturday night and used the hashtag #badlicksaturday, because I thought it would be funny to see a video of someone sitting in their bedroom practicing amidst posts of wild Saturday night gigs. But I got hooked on documenting the patterns I’ve developed in my own language, polishing them up through the week and sharing them. I realized that the group of licks functioned as a sort of internet-based method book in a way I often found lacking in jazz pedagogical literature. Most books of patterns simply choose one theoretical concept and list every single possibility, usually copied into all 12 keys, of that concept. While comprehensive, this offers the reader no editorial authority on which manifestations of a concept would be most effective, and in which settings (not to mention they use 200 pieces of paper on a topic that can be summed up in a pamphlet). This is especially unfortunate considering that these books are written by some truly great musicians, whose opinions would be incredibly helpful in sorting through a mountain of patterns. This is one of the purposes of my continuing the Bad Licks post and formalizing them on my website, with some writing. Check out Developing Language for longer entries on the subjects brought up in the BL posts.

One of the largest intellectual and cultural challenges of the Internet Age will be finding meaning in infinite information. This will be a problem in jazz, too. Yes, every great song from every great musician’s great album is available somewhere for free online, but how many have you listened to in depth? Our tasks seem so large in daunting that we are paralyzed and end up doing nothing. So my purpose in providing a collection of licks is not to tell you what’s possible, or what’s best with any sort of objectivity, but what has been particularly effective in my experience. So you know these work for me, and we can work backwards from there, finding out which situations they are best suited for, and why, and how to create language of your own that is similarly effective.