Blues Licks


Blues Licks perform two main roles.

  • To accompany a vocal or
  • To replace a vocal.

Vocal Blues Licks use notes sparingly.

Instrumental Blues (think Hendrix, Coltarone and Charlie Parker) use blues licks liberally.


Blues Licks As Vocal Accompaniment

The Two Note Blues Solo on Beat 4 is an example of Blues Licks Accompaniment.



This blues licks phrase is short. And can fit easily between vocal phrases and lyrics.

As you have seen in previous articles, the short 2 note phrase can be placed anywhere in the bar.

Making this blues lick a perfect vocal accompaniment device.

That can be used anywhere.


Blues Licks As Vocal Replacement

In this classic Kind Of Blues Track, entitled So What, Miles Davis, John Coltarne and others, dispense with the vocalist.

Mile's trumpet is his vocalist. Coltrane's Tenor Sax is his vocalist.

And because an instruments range is greater than the typical vocal range, instrumental melodies are far busier than vocal melodies.



Blues Licks Overview

Miles and Coltrane are as far away from the Blues Guitar Beginner as you can get.

Yet there's much to gain from listening to them.

(Especially if you plan on being on this earth for another fifity years or so)

But from a practical point of view, the beginning blues guitar player will want to start with the classic two note blues licks.

And play them anywhere in the bar.

Licks that you can use.

On your beginner blues guitar.

We sum up up the classic lead guitar licks that come from one simple guitar lick.





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