View Full Version : Jazz Lick

11-19-2005, 06:06 AM
I'm trying to figure out what the hell Metheny was thinking when he played this. It occurs in "Third Wind" and is the little solo break. I couldn't figure out how to post a picture, so I just typed it. Help me please.

all 16th notes

F7ish chord


11-19-2005, 04:09 PM
The first two beats are an F7alt lick (using the F altered scale - aka F super locrian - with a couple chromatic notes - the first Bb and the last G), then beats 3 and 4 are the same lick played up a tritone, over a B7alt harmony.

The last two sixteenths of the first bar and the first beat of the second bar is a Metheny cliche. He's taking a major 3rd interval and chromatically moving down the neck to a new position. This is probably one of his most frequently used licks.

Beats 2 and 3 of the second measure and beats 4 of measure two and 1 of the third measure are the same lick, just transposed again. Beat 2 is really just some chromaticism (take note of the shape up the line - high note, two low notes, back to the first note again). Beat three is a chromatic enclosure (also called a 'bracket') of the note A on beat 4. This technique is a staple bebop cliche, and most probably a Wes-ism that Metheny picked up when he was younger. Beat 4 is just like beat 2 (check out the shape of the line, it's the same as before). Then beat 1 of the next measure is another chromatic enclosure, this time of the D on beat two.

Beats 2, 3 and 4 of measure three are a short pentatonic scale fragment that is being moved up in half steps.

Beats 1 and 2 of measure 4 are back to the F7alt tonality, but you can also look at them as being chromatic enclosures. Beat 1 encloses the Ab on beat 2, and the notes in beat 2 enclose the F on beat three.

Beats 3 and 4 of measure 4 are outlining an Emaj6 arpeggio. What he's doing here is called side-stepping. He's merely playing a tonality a half step away from the actual chord to creat some dissonance. The last two sixteenth notes on beat 4 are slipping back into the F tonality. I'm really curious as to how he resolves this in the next measure. Could post that part of the lick?

11-20-2005, 05:44 PM
Hey, thanks a lot for the reply. I don't have the other part tabbed, but this lick occurs when everybody cuts out and is a lead into his solo. He just kind of slides down to a tonic resolution if I remember correctly.

What type of jazz people are you into poparad? Where have/are you studying?

11-20-2005, 05:56 PM
I'm starting to piece through your analysis, so I'm just going to post as certain questions come up.

First question: I don't think that the 3rd and 4th beats are the same lick in 1 and 2 a tritone up. It is similar, but not the same.

If it were it'd be this:


11-20-2005, 06:10 PM
Concerning the "bracket" enclosure. Is this like approaching a chord tone with something like 1/2 step above, 1/2 below, then the chord tone --5-7-6-- type of thing? I know that's a simple one, but I'm just wondering if it is the same idea. If so, this would be min3 below, maj2 above, min2 above, min3 below, then the wanted note correct? What are typical places this occurs?

11-20-2005, 06:15 PM
The second bracket enclosure is: maj3 below, wanted note, min2 below, maj2 below, wanted note. That one seems odd to me because your reach the wanted note before you have it land on a strong beat.

11-20-2005, 06:20 PM
bracket enclosures in the last bar:

min3 below, maj2 below, min2 below, maj2 above, wanted note.

min3 above, maj2 above, min2 above, maj2 below, wanted note.

Interesting, they're exactly the same, just inverted.

11-20-2005, 06:27 PM
Okay, I'm done.

Could you give me some more examples of these bracket enclosures? Just maybe give me some examples to listen to or something?

Thanks for helping me out with this. When I would be analyzing your analysis, I'd often have the "oh yeah... duh" reaction a lot. Hopefully I'll be able to do these analyses myself in the future.

11-20-2005, 06:49 PM
I think you're unstanding the bracketing just fine. It's a very common tool used in all of bebop playing, from Parker and Dizzy to later guys like Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard. It's such a common part of the jazz idiom that there isn't really one, or even a few, people to point to for examples.

As for this whole Metheny thing, keep in mind that the lick may not be 100% as he intended or even how he would play it if he sat down and wrote it out ahead of time. Sometimes things come off in weird ways (like the enclosure that resolves right before a beat rather than on it), and also with a lot of double time licks, especially in solo breaks where the harmony isn't set in stone, a lot of chromaticism is commonly thrown in that doesn't make a whole lot of sense against the chord.

As for the that first sequence that isn't exact, there's no rule saying they have to be. Often, all you really need to do to capture the effect of a sequence is to repeate the shape of the line and not the exact intervals note-for-note.

11-20-2005, 07:14 PM
Yeah, I've been learning lots of bebop tunes lately and the approach notes (what you call bracketing) has come up frequently.

Thanks again for the help.