You may hear this series of notes a lot in jazz and blues solos. Which means, you could call this a cliché. But in the Blues especially, we need to use clichés, in order to let listeners know where they are: “You are in the Blues, thank you very much!” Any time you venture off into highly original blues territory, a cliché is a great place to come home to!
Today we present Lick Number Five, which is formally called the “Ba-do-dee you bop” lick. That is some academic terminology right there, and you know that I did not make it up.
Ha-ha. As with Lick #2, I named this lick with syllables that match each note of the pattern, so that you can sing the name of the lick as you practice it, which is a really good way to get the feel of it. You might want to read the lesson description for Lick #2 for more insight on that singing idea.
I call this type of pattern a “run-around” lick.
Lick patterns like these are easy to make into ear-catching runs, the kind you can easily move around the keyboard. The result can be some interesting and longer lines, even though the lick it’s based on is usually quite simple. A good “run-around” lick fits well under the fingers, and often has two connected fragments, which allows the two parts to kind of “leap frog” and “run around” with each other. Dig? You’ll see.
Welcome to Lesson Two!
In David Sudnow’s classic book, “Ways of the Hand,” he describes his personal journey towards becoming an accomplished piano improviser. Eventually, he discovers the secret to playing great jazz (or blues) lines: Sing! That is, above all, you must mentally sing the ideas (hear them in your head, as something you would sing). Then, translate that “sound” to your fingers. You don’t need to be an accomplished singer to do this. It’s really about the act of singing in your head, not so much your vocal accuracy. Which brings us to the name of this lick! If you sing “Dabooda, Boodie You” with a solid rhythm, it will be much easier to adapt the idea behind this lick into your solos. (Each note in this lick is tied to one syllable in the name.)