It comes from growing up with James Brown, Sly Stone, and Tower of Power:

I prefer punchy, funky, accented articulation and short, clipped, syncopated rhythms.

But comes a time when smooth, cantabile phrasing is on the menu.  So here goes.


If you want to woodshed this lick in all 12 keys, click “continue reading” below to see a complete chart, hear the complete recording @ 180 beats per minute (BPM) as well as a slower complete recording @ 100 BPM.

Here is the complete recording in all 12 keys @ 180 beats per minute (BPM).

Here is the complete recording played slowly @ 100 BPM.  This is the tempo at which I began shedding the lick.  With each repetition, I increased the tempo by 5 clicks.  At a couple of points, I got sloppy, so I repeated those tempi until they felt “effortless” before continuing.  Because of that desire for a smooth, effortless flow, it took about 30 passes to get this phrase up to tempo in all 12 keys.  I initially got it up to 200 BPM, but it felt harried and didn’t swing as well that fast, so I ended up at 180 BPM.   Would you like it faster?

A complete chart in all 12 keys can be downloaded below.  But I didn’t use that chart to record these two performances.  I didn’t generate the chart until after the recordings were completed.  What I was looking at during recording is shown here.  It reminded me what key and which octave were coming up next.   This schematic gives you four repetitions in each area of the horn, low, middle, and top. 

By using the tools found in “NEW EARS RESOLUTION,” you too can quickly learn to play this or any other melody by ear in any key.

By the way, which would you use if you were improvising over these changes:   the major scale, the Mixolydian mode, or some other approach?    Both versions are shown here.   Leave me a comment below with your preference.


Here is the chart in all 12 keys. Thanks for joining me on this “Improvise Organically” adventure.



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