1.2 right hand chord arpeggios

Practicing scales and arpeggios seems like a chore, but it is essential to build familiarity with the keyboard and to develop finger strength and control. Our goal is to make these essential finger skills such as chord arpeggios enjoyable by playing with the band. An arpeggio is just a group of individual notes that define a chord, and a Jazz lick is usually just a group of notes arranged from an arpeggio or scale tones that sound nice!

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my first lick - Ben the master

I wanted to share with you the first lick I ever learned when I was about 15 years old. My piano teacher showed it to me, and I’ve been using it ever since! I like to think that all of the licks, riffs and patterns stay with us for life, especially the ones we like the most! Today is not the time to worry about the theory of this lick, but understand that arpeggios are the starting point for Jazz improvisation.

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Ben's first lick


my first lick - Phil the student

As Ben says, arpeggios and scales are where this all starts and you cannot go wrong playing them regularly. Arpeggios as a solo can sound amazing in the right hands, but they can also sound tedious and uninteresting if over used - here is the first lick that Ben taught me, and it is mostly just an arpeggio!

It's a nice bluesy lick that's played over a minor chord. As a Jazz novice I was pretty chuffed to learn and play this lick in a minor 12 bar blues cycle, and then using the last bluesy part of the lick in a tune called The Old Country by Nat Adderley - listen for it the second time through the tune.



Phil's first lick

Phil's first lick applied to a minor 12 bar blues

Phil's first lick added into The Old Country by Nat Adderley