11 Must Know Jazz Guitar Licks

This is an ongoing project of mine to publish a list of 50 jazz guitar licks. I hope you enjoy!

#1 Fast Bebop

  • This lick uses the D Dorian mode.
  • Click here to listen a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.
dorian jazz lick

#2 Arpeggio Style

  • This lick is in Eb major and sounds good when played over an Eb major 7 chord.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.
arpeggio lick

#3 Whole Tone Chromatics

  • The whole tone scale is partly used here.
  • This lick can be played over a dominant 7 chord. Some of the notes in the whole tone scale serve as alterations on a dominant chord.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.
Whole tone chromatic lick

#4 Charlie Parker ii-V-I Lick

  • This lick is transcribed from the melody of Charlie Parker's Donna Lee.
  • This lick can be played over a C major ii-V-I progression.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.

#5 Jazz Country Lick

  • I'm not really sure what inspired this lick but I'm sure it is worth learning.
  • It mostly sticks to the blues scale with a few hammer-ons and pull-offs.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.
jazz country lick

#6 Whole Tone Lick

  • This is a lick using the whole tone scale and can be played over a dominant 7 chord, preferably an altered chord. For instance, you can play this lick over a C7#5 or otherwise stick to the C whole tone scale.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.

#7 Smooth Jazz Lick

  • This lick uses the F major scale and can be played over an F major 7 chord.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.

#8 Rhythmic Lick

  • This lick uses the A Dorian mode and can be played over an A minor chord.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.
Rhythmic Lick

#9 Altered Dominant Lick

  • This lick can be played over a C altered chord!
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.

#10 George Benson Lick

  • This lick is in A minor and can be played over an A minor 7 chord.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.

#11 Charlie Parker Blues for Alice Lick

  • This lick is from Charlie Parker's solo in "Blues for Alice".
  • In measure 2, Parker plays around with the b9 over the Bb7 chord to add tension.
  • Measures 3-5 consist of ii-V's descending in half steps, and the notes outline the changes.
  • Click here to listen to a normal speed and slowed down recording of this lick on YouTube.