PHIL HILBORNE’S ONE-MINUTE LICK
Phrases using chromatic ideas are popular in a multitude of styles. This idea is very simple in concept, in that the chromatic notes are ‘filling in the gaps’ between the stable chord tones. Nearly all the notes in this idea can be seen as being common extensions of a Dominant 9th chord fingering. For instance, in bar 1 we see the b7 (G) heading to the root (A) via the maj7 (G#); this is followed by the 9th (B), the 3rd (C#) via the b3 (C), and finally the 5th (E) to the 6th/13th (F#) via the b13 (F). If you analyse the notes in relation to the following D7 chord you will see that it is the pretty much the same idea repeated – only here using the extensions of a D9 chord. Keep it as metrical as possible – it is easy to rush this type of legato lick. Also, try it with a variety of sounds – it will work well played dirty, clean or anything in between. Licks like this were common in Jimi Hendrix’s playing – especially in the latter period of his career. Please note that my lick is deliberately exercise-like, so aim for more variety in your versions – they will sound a lot better for it.