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II-V-I Jazz Lick #4 (L#35)

I’ve received quite a bunch of e-mails asking me about II-V-I bass licks that happen within one bar (actually, it’s generally the “II-V” that happens on one bar). The previous II-V-I’s I’ve showed you were on 3 or 4 bars: one bar on the II, one bar on the V and one or two bars on the I.

So, in this lesson, I’m giving you a couple of bass licks that you can use on these II-V’s. I’m also talking about the ‘tritone substitution’ that you can use for more diversity & contrast: it adds a lot more tension before we resolve to the I chord.

Remember that the bass licks I’m giving you are supposed to be a starting point: after you’ve tried them in various keys, experiment and create your owns, using the lick I’m giving you as a springboard, an idea-triggerer… That’s how you will progress and develop your own style.

Again, I highly recommend you practice over backing tracks, ideally in all keys.


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  • Alvin Fok

    Jazz lick #4 & 5 is very useful to me, you use the substitution chord for V7. The sound is much better.
    Thanks, Scott