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David's Tip of the Day: Finding Patterns to Help with Speed Licks

David Barrett Admin's picture

It's not guaranteed that a fast lick will have a movement pattern, breath pattern or both, but it's worth looking for... the discover of them can help make a fast lick much easier to play.

Your Tongue Block Study 3 song ("Gary's Blues") contains a great example in Bar 6 of Chorus 5. Note that each beat has you moving up one hole and coming back, all with the same breath. For the next beat you move down the scale and blow, then using the same movement. Rinse and repeat and you have the entire lick. This discovery will help you to play this lick much more easily.

The next time you come across a fast lick, look for its movement and/or breath pattern. It's worth the time to check, in most cases you're going to find something that will help you in the performance of the lick.