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Watch the James Cooks online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know

There are certainly times when jazz musicians play over the familiar V-IV-I turnaround on the last four bars of a blues, and sometimes that’s all you need to do. If you’re looking to play through the shuffles and other tunes you already know, but apply some new sounds and finesse to the situation, the licks we’ve looked at so far are just what you need. However, if you want to wade into slightly deeper waters, it’s time to dig into the notorious ii-V-I chord progression, as used by jazzers during bars 9-12 of the blues form.

In the previous few licks we’ve looked at various ways that the middle four bars of the form, beginning with the move from IV back to I, can continue on through the VI chord and so set up the ii at the beginning of measure nine. Ironically, the first ii-V lick we’re going to tackle simplifies things by treating measures nine and ten as just two bars of V, and blowing one long chromatically-embellished F mixolydian lick over those two bars to resolve on Bb in the final two measures.