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HomeLJS PodcastPlay better jazz solos3 Hip 2-5-1 Licks for You to Practice

3 Hip 2-5-1 Licks for You to Practice

Welcome to episode 128 of the LJS Podcast where today we are exploring 3 hip 2-5-1 licks. Learning licks is always a good practice for learning jazz language, and 2-5-1 chord progressions are arguably the most common in jazz harmony. This is a great episode to help you take action and practice. Listen in!

Listen to episode 128

My entire goal for today’s episode is to give you one task to go out and practice. So I keep it short and to the point.

I go over 3 hip 2-5-1 licks that you can work on and take through all 12 keys.

It’s always a great idea to take small micro pieces of jazz language (licks) and work them in different keys. As a result, you will have internalized that lick, and improved your flexibility with it.

Here’s each lick I go over in this episode:

Lick #1

2-5-1 jazz lick

Lick #2

altered jazz lick

Lick #3

chromatic 2-5-1 jazz lick

I hope you take me up on my challenge and take one of these through all 12 keys. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Important Links

30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing

LJS 117: How to Practice Licks in all 12 Keys

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."


    • Hi Daiki! I think it's just a matter of feeling comfortable with it. It's not that you necessarily want to play it verbatim anyway. You just want to get the sounds in your ears and under your fingers. Keep learning new sentences!

  1. I’m a Blues Player At Heart, Though Jazz Always Creeps In And my creative side Raises it’s Head And I Just Had To Get A Little Bit Of Help With The Extremely Cool Way To Express The Language Of Music.
    Thanks for the great eBook I’ll be burying my head into it when I get it.
    (Should Be In My Now)

  2. I am new to jazz.
    Why are you using an Ab in G7?
    Are you implying a G7b9?
    Is it a chromatic leading tone to the G?

    I don't understand lick 3 at all.

  3. Your Podcasts with lessons & advice are so valuable Brent. Episode 128, practicing the 2 5 1 licks over the 12 keys is challenging and so rewarding. Huge thanks.


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