Search the archives
More about Az
Beats & Bytes

« Toadworks Fat City Dual Overdrive + Boost Pedal (Demo/Review) | Main | The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz Guitar Improvisation »

Jazz Guitar Lesson: 5 Minutes to Create a Cool Jazz Guitar Lick

Are you tired of playing jazz standards only to hear the same boring old licks you played again and again?

You know how it goes. You learn one lick from a YouTube video and then another from a guitar magazine, all these random things. Then, you don’t really know what you’re doing. Everything is random!

Do something epic in 5 minutes

But what if you could use just 5 minutes to create a new jazz guitar melody that you can use. Imagine if this was something so simple that you can do this again and again so that you’re never in a rut?

Welcome to the 5 step guide jazz lick rut buster: 

Pick a scale - This could be any scale. For instance, a major scale, a Dorian scale, a pentatonic scale, altered, whole tone - basically anything you want.

Select 4 notes from the scale - You can pick 4 different notes or repeat some notes. The important thing is that we’re choosing only a fragment of the scale instead of the entire scale. This avoids our line sounding like a boring scale exercise. You can choose to write a scalar line or a line that has skips and leaps (more fun!).

Choose an arpeggio - Pick 3 notes of an arpeggio, that is from the same scale. Later on, you can mix different scales but this is for another lesson.

Connecting it all - Connect the arpeggio to the scale and play around with it until you find a rhythm that sounds good to you. You can either start with the scale or the arpeggio. For more adventurous jazzers, try both to get two different lines.

Practice - play it again and again until you get the flow of this new line.

Tada! And there you have it, a new musical idea for your jazz guitar explorations.

BONUS STEP: Play the same line in a few keys or in the same key but sequence diatonically. (This take more time but can produce epic results.)

Interested to discover more? Learn how the great improvise in the jazz guitar masterclass:

Brought to you by Az Samad, dedicated to helping you become a better improvising jazz guitarist.



Join my newsletter for a FREE 7-song acoustic guitar MP3 compilation
& to be updated of new blog posts, videos, upcoming shows & exclusive content.


100% privacy and I promise never to spam you.


❤ If you liked this post, please Like it or Tweet it! =)

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>