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HomeBlogEight I-VI-ii-V-I Licks

Eight I-VI-ii-V-I Licks

Eight I-VI-ii-V-I Licks (Bass Clef)

Learning jazz language is one of the most important things we can do as jazz musicians. Learning licks, or little musical phrases and ideas, can be a great way to learn vocabulary and help you navigate chord changes.

The I-VI-ii-V-I chord progression is quite popular in jazz. Probably the most common form where you see this progression come up is in rhythm changes tunes.

You can also check out our 12 ii-V-I licks and 8 minor ii-V-i licks.

Eight I-Vi-ii-V-I Licks PDFs:

Eight I-VI-ii-V-I Licks

Eight I-VI-ii-V-I Licks (Bass Clef)

Practice tips:

  • Play through each one several times to hear how they sound.
  • Find one you particularly like and practice it in all 12 keys starting from the original key. This will help you internalize the sounds and connect them with your instrument.
  • Once you’ve completed that process, take a couple more of them through all 12 keys, and then diligently practice them for an extended period of time. Repetition is key and practicing over longer periods of time will help them become second nature!
  • Learn other I-VI-ii-V-I licks from recordings you like, or come up with your own.
Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Hi Brent, greetings from Brazil, pls this eight licks matches with Bb Anthropology harmony correct? Thanks for your "tips" its very helpful to me. bye

  2. Hi Brent, the same question here: when improvising over this chord progression is the I-chord/scale the one to use?


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