How to practice jazz licks

How should you practice jazz licks?


In this video, I’m going to show you a typical jazz phrase, how to practice it and how to transpose it.

This video is for violinists who want to learn jazz phrasing, but it’s also helpful for other instrumentalists!

In jazz, you learn licks, which you can use like vocabulary when you learn a language.

Listen to the lick that I play here, try to sing it, and play it by ear by imitation. You can also read it on the downloadable sheet music at the bottom of the page, where you will also find my fingerings and bowings!



Jazz Licks Practice Steps

Then, when you have integrated the notes and found a fingering, I recommend that you practice it in the following way:

  1. Play the lick with the metronome on beats 2 and 4

    This way you embed the phrase with the correct accents for a jazzy feel.

  2. Transpose the lick into other keys, if possible all of them!


Why transpose a jazz lick?

When improvising on a jazz standard, you can really find yourself on any chord. Indeed, even if we play a piece in G major, it is quite possible to find other chords in the piece, such as D flat, E flat, A flat etc…

To be able to cope with any situation, it is therefore very useful to work on the transposition and to be able to play your jazz licks in all keys!

Transpose what?

In the video, I show the transposition of a jazz lick, but you can also apply this to a song or piece you already know!


Watch out for fingerings and bowing!

When we transpose, we are not always going to use the same fingerings and bowing! It’s up to you to find the fingerings that you find most comfortable. Adapt them to each key.


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Below you will find a PDF for download with the sheet music of the jazz lick from the video and its transpositions. And you will also be updated on the latest news on this site!

See you soon for new articles and new videos!


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