Starting to think I need to internalize some licks

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by cantstoplt021, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. cantstoplt021

    cantstoplt021 Member

    Jun 11, 2013
    I've always shyed away from internalizing other players licks for whatever reason. I've learned a bunch of solos off of records note for note, but I haven't taken a single lick and really got it down so well that I can play it in any kind of situation, in any key, in any kind of style and I'm starting to think that may be a mistake. I don't know what I'm really thinking. I'll learn a whole solo note for note off of a song and then get it up to speed and then..... well I can play the solo. I think I need to start learning and internalizing licks. I think I'm expecting to miraculously one day be able to improvise well all while spontaneously playing my own licks that I hear in my head and making them up as I go along. I actually don't know how realistic that is. It seems that most players have a bunch of licks that they string together with stuff in between to make solos. I've even heard quotes of famous jazz players saying that most of the stuff they play in a night is stuff they've played before just rearranged. If jazz masters play licks why should I expect not to? Comparing it to language its almost like making up new words everytime you speak. It doesn't quite work like that. In writing this paragraph there isn't a single word or phrase I've never used before. I think I'm really shooting myself in the foot by not internalizing licks from the masters. If I'm willing to sit down and learn a recording. Why won't I internalize some licks?


    Someone who is tired of playing scales
  2. Judas68fr

    Judas68fr Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    I would try to stay away from that... Guitars solos full of licks are just plain boring, they're just cool for the guitarist in the back left corner (maybe!)...

    Now don't get me wrong, integrating a lick from time to time as a transition between two melodies can be cool!
  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    we eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of beer
    Yup, just learning the notes isn't enough. But you know that already. So how do you internalize these things? Here's a good start-

    May seem backwards, but I think you'll find that when you compose a solo you'll start hearing some of the things you've already played coming out, but slightly reworked to fit the context. Which might give you some insight on how to internalize those licks you already know. IMO, the only way to learn how to create is to, well... create.
  4. gigs

    gigs Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Pittsburgh - aka SIX-burgh
    Bored with your solos... then play along to stuff that you don't usually do.

    TV, movies all have background music that is fun to improvise over... and trains your ear too. Or get some of that meditation music and solo over it. Or backing tracks to songs that you would not ordinarily play. Get out of the familiar zone...

    Try to make melodies on the fly... not solos... just melodies that fit the music. Don't think scales or patterns... just listen, don't look at the fret board, don't think.

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