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Dec 4, 2023 - 5:46:02 PM
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Owen

Canada

14597 posts since 6/5/2011

... and IF it is, why?  ... i.e. what attributes make it a "G lick"? 

[I've heard that there's no such thing as a dumb question, so ^^.]   

Thanks.

Edit: If I fret a chord and pick the same right hand pattern ^^, is it still a "G lick"? 


 

Edited by - Owen on 12/04/2023 17:49:02

Dec 4, 2023 - 7:37:48 PM

PKM

USA

517 posts since 4/19/2011

Hello Owen - You're going to get better explanations from others, but essentially that is a pattern played over open strings, and since the banjo is tuned to an open G, it is in the key of G. If you fret your banjo at the 2nd fret, and play that pattern then it is an A "lick". 4th fret, its a B, 5th a C, etc. I hope this helps. best of luck

Dec 4, 2023 - 9:41:27 PM

chuckv97

Canada

71556 posts since 10/5/2013

I wouldn’t call it a lick,, but if you play the 4th string at the 2nd fret instead of open,, it would be. What makes it a G lick is the accompanying instruments would play the G chord,, to get real technical I suppose the accompanying chord could go to the D chord for one beat when the banjer plucks ! the 4th and 1st strings, but that’s rare. Usually these are often called tag licks. (sorry Mrs. Lindsay for using “usually” and “often” in one sentence since they could be redundant or even,, gasp,, contradictory)

p.s. , there are likely better ways to explain it, but that's all I got right now...

Edited by - chuckv97 on 12/04/2023 21:44:16

Dec 4, 2023 - 10:12:29 PM
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4776 posts since 3/28/2008

A "G lick" is any lick that sounds good when the accompanying chord is a G.

Dec 5, 2023 - 3:29:42 AM

Greg Denton

Canada

110 posts since 10/5/2014

What makes it a G Lick isn't determined by the right hand pattern. It's determined, largely, by the notes that it contains. A G-chord contains the notes G B and D. G-Licks tend to focus on those notes but may contain other "passing" notes. We call it a G-Lick because it sounds good over a G chord.
If you fretted another chord and played the same right hand pattern, it would be a lick associated with the chord that you are holding.

Dec 5, 2023 - 5:26:57 AM
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KCJones

USA

2863 posts since 8/30/2012

I always thought in order for something to be a 'lick', you had to do something with your left hand. Simply picking open notes wouldn't be a lick, it'd just be a chord. You need to add a slur or some sort of dynamics to the fretting to make it a lick. 

If you add in a 2-3 slide where that second open 3rd string is plucked, then I'd call it a lick.

Edited by - KCJones on 12/05/2023 05:27:54

Dec 5, 2023 - 5:36:15 AM

Owen

Canada

14597 posts since 6/5/2011

Thanks everybody ^^ ... and now the work begins. yes   

Edited by - Owen on 12/05/2023 05:36:54

Dec 5, 2023 - 6:24:53 AM
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DRL777

USA

278 posts since 12/12/2021

It becomes very simple to do and it's very commonly referred to as a 'Scruggs run' or Scruggs G-lick'

Possum on this forum and other previously ported it like this:

______0_______0_________0____
_________________________________
___0_______2 sl 3___0________0_______
_______________________2__________
________0_______________________

banjohangout.org/archive/127838

Dec 5, 2023 - 7:19:13 AM
Players Union Member

DWB3

USA

22 posts since 5/3/2016

Bill Evans refers to this roll as “the lick roll”

Dec 5, 2023 - 7:21:54 AM
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RB3

USA

1927 posts since 4/12/2004

One of the reasons that this should be considered a "lick" is because it is a right-hand finger picking sequence that can be used in conjunction with a variety of string sequences and a variety of left-hand positions and left-hand embellishments, such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, etc. As a right-hand picking sequence, it's one of the fundamental building blocks of the Scruggs style.

Each of the notes in the tablature of the original post is either a G-note or a D-note. The G-note and D-note are two of the notes that comprise a G chord and a G scale, so that's one pretty good reason to refer to it as a " G lick".

Dec 5, 2023 - 8:22:07 AM

9512 posts since 8/30/2004
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Owen,
A "lick" is a short musical phrase or fill in lick. A roll is just a continuous T, I, M roll or a variation of...Jack

Originally posted by Owen

... and IF it is, why?  ... i.e. what attributes make it a "G lick"? 

[I've heard that there's no such thing as a dumb question, so ^^.]   

Thanks.

Edit: If I fret a chord and pick the same right hand pattern ^^, is it still a "G lick"? 


Dec 5, 2023 - 8:24:37 AM

720 posts since 11/9/2021

This is a lick? It's all G's and D's. Boring.

Dec 5, 2023 - 9:16:23 AM
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3424 posts since 4/19/2008
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I get around all this by calling it, G, noise, C noise, etc.

Dec 5, 2023 - 9:18:43 AM
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3640 posts since 4/5/2006

Where does it say a "lick" has to be exciting? I would say the original tab, although perhaps no more than a right-hand exercise, is the foundation for one of the most iconic G licks in Bluegrass banjo. The addition of an A, or a B note does not, by itself, make it an A nor a B lick! Indeed, the addition of the A-B slide, or variation thereof, enhances the aforementioned G lick. 

Dec 5, 2023 - 10:22:11 AM

KCJones

USA

2863 posts since 8/30/2012

If that's a lick I would ask the group to define the difference between a chord and a lick.

You need some dynamics for it to be a lick. A slide, a pulloff, a hammer on, or some other sort of fretting change with the left hand. Otherwise you're just playing a chord. Playing a couple G and D notes isn't a lick, it's just a partial chord. It's the foundation of a lick on the same way that flour and water are the foundations of bread, you wouldn't call a glass of water with some flour sprinkled on top a 'loaf', it takes a bit more than that.

Dec 5, 2023 - 11:13:58 AM

1442 posts since 1/25/2017

In the hills of Tennessee we call that an arpeggilick which results from a roll (the thumb and fingers of the right hand picking) of the individual notes of a chord (a fully open partial chord as illustrated).

Edited by - SimonSlick on 12/05/2023 11:14:50

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:35:42 PM
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14828 posts since 6/2/2008

Of course it's a lick.

And, yes, it's a G lick. Why? Take your pick: It uses only notes in a G chord. It therefore works musically over a G chord. By both starting and ending on a G note (on downbeats of two successive measures), it emphasizes the root note of a G note, further expressing its G-ness.

There are other reasons.

Being on all open strings, it's not a particularly interesting lick. But interest is not a necessary attribute of licks. And I don't think there's a player among us who can say they've never played this.

As to your added question whether it's still a G lick if your fret a chord and pick the same pattern: If the chord is not G, then of course it isn't a G lick. It's a "(_)" lick where "(_)" is whatever chord you're playing.

Now: One of the reasons given above for it being a G lick won't apply when the chord you're fretting turns it into a C, D, F, Em, or other name. That's because the 3rd string note on which the lick begins and ends won't be the root note of most other chords in other shapes.  

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:44:08 PM
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14828 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

If that's a lick I would ask the group to define the difference between a chord and a lick.


A chord is three or more notes played at the same time. Generally the notes harmonize, but it's beyond my ability to describe all the other attributes that make a collection of notes a chord or just noise.

And I suppose harmonizing notes that are played as an arpeggio can also be a chord, or build a chord.

A lick, on the other hand, to my understanding, is a musical phrase usually consisting of multiple notes played in sequence. The notes do not have to be within a single chord and do not have to harmonize. Three notes sounded at the same time are probably not a lick. But a lick could certainly include three notes sounded at once within a distinct phrase.

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

You need some dynamics for it to be a lick. A slide, a pulloff, a hammer on, or some other sort of fretting change with the left hand.


Maybe the dynamics come from the picking attack that emphasizes some notes over others.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 12/05/2023 12:47:54

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:55:22 PM

KCJones

USA

2863 posts since 8/30/2012

So would just playing a forward roll over open fretboard also a lick? If not, what's the difference between the two? And if yes, doesn't that mean that basically any sequence of notes could be considered a lick?

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:56:12 PM
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14828 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

You need some dynamics for it to be a lick. A slide, a pulloff, a hammer on, or some other sort of fretting change with the left hand.


How about Earl's bugle call lick of 12th fret chimes in Bugle Call Rag?

Some sort of fretting with the left hand makes it a lick, right?

Great. Now play the same phrase with the picking hand achieving the same timing and dynamics, but with all the strings open. When I do it, I hear a recognizable musical phrase that I'd call a lick.

Dec 5, 2023 - 1:26:26 PM
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14828 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

So would just playing a forward roll over open fretboard also a lick? If not, what's the difference between the two? And if yes, doesn't that mean that basically any sequence of notes could be considered a lick?


At a certain point, no. Where's that point? Somewhere between playing it once in a way you might actually play it in a song and playing it twice or more as you'd play as an exercise but never as part of a piece of music. Maybe after one expression and before repetition.

Can any sequence of notes be a lick? Maybe. maybe not. I think it has to do with musical utility. Are we talking about a sequence to get from point a to point b in a specific piece and something you might never use again? Maybe that's not a lick. But I believe any sequence of notes that can be reusable vocabularly can be a considered a lick.

In this way, I believe the example posted by the OP represented actual fill on open strings that players of all levels of ability might actually play and most likely have played. So it's definitely more than a sequence of notes. It's also a phrase, even though it doesn't say much. And so I think it can also be considered a lick. I've already said it's not an interesting lick. I'll add it's not much of a lick. It certainly becomes a readily recognized lick when some fretted notes and a slide are added.

But if you don't want to consider it a lick, fine. I won't lose any sleep or income. If you want to think it's nothing more than a useful right hand pattern that needs more than open strings before it can be a lick, then fine. I can understand and respect that position even if I don't agree with it -- in this particular case.

Dec 5, 2023 - 1:31:32 PM

14828 posts since 6/2/2008

 

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

You need  . . . some . . . sort of fretting change with the left hand.


So is changing the next-to-last note from 4th string open to 4th string at 2nd fret all it takes to turn the picking pattern into a lick?

Dec 5, 2023 - 1:55:17 PM

2153 posts since 2/10/2003

To me a lick is a musical phrase that is meant to add interest and/or used as a transition from one chord to another, or one section to another. Chord comping and rolls would not be considered a lick nor would the melody of a song no matter how interesting. They would be either accompaniment or melody. A lick would be something other then these. As mentioned the bugle call rag chimes would not really be considered a lick in as used in bugle call rag. I would call it part of the melody (as cliche as it is) however playing this phrase over a G chord during a break in another tune would be considered a lick. Lester’s G Run is a lick, it is a phrase used as transition between sections.

The example in the original post would not really be a lick, I would consider it a roll used as accompaniment if just played like written over a G chord, however it could be transformed into a G lick by playing the pattern as written, then barring the 2nd fret and playing the same picking pattern, then barring the 4th fret and playing the same pattern and finally playing the G shape at the 5th fret with the same pattern all over the space of a G chord.

Dec 5, 2023 - 2:28:03 PM

9512 posts since 8/30/2004
Online Now

Yes,
Exactly as I said. Jack
"A "lick" is a short musical phrase or fill in lick. A roll is just a continuous T, I, M roll or a variation of...Jack"

Originally posted by 250gibson

To me a lick is a musical phrase that is meant to add interest and/or used as a transition from one chord to another, or one section to another. Chord comping and rolls would not be considered a lick nor would the melody of a song no matter how interesting. They would be either accompaniment or melody. A lick would be something other then these. As mentioned the bugle call rag chimes would not really be considered a lick in as used in bugle call rag. I would call it part of the melody (as cliche as it is) however playing this phrase over a G chord during a break in another tune would be considered a lick. Lester’s G Run is a lick, it is a phrase used as transition between sections.

The example in the original post would not really be a lick, I would consider it a roll used as accompaniment if just played like written over a G chord, however it could be transformed into a G lick by playing the pattern as written, then barring the 2nd fret and playing the same picking pattern, then barring the 4th fret and playing the same pattern and finally playing the G shape at the 5th fret with the same pattern all over the space of a G chord.


Edited by - Jack Baker on 12/05/2023 14:29:39

Dec 5, 2023 - 4:40:31 PM
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14828 posts since 6/2/2008

250gibson wrote:
"To me a lick is a musical phrase that is meant to add interest and/or used as a transition from one chord to another, or one section to another."

"The example in the original post would not really be a lick..."



I agree with the first part of what I quoted here, except I believe the words after "phrase" are not necessary for the definition. But let's say that the "transition" function of a lick can also be from one measure to the end of the song. Or a lick can simply be the end of a song. Good, we agree.

So suppose at the end of a song or solo we play what I've tabbed below then tack onto it the lick from the original post. ("X" on top line indicates space for an eighth note where nothing is played; first note is a quarter note on open 4th getting the count of "one and")


-----x---------0------------------0-----------|--------0-----------0--------------0-------------
---------2--h--3-----------3------------------|--2 h 3------2 h 3-----------------------------
-------------------------------------------------|------------------------------3 p 2--------------
--0---------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------------------
----------------------0-----------------0------|-------------------------0-------------------0----


When tacked onto this well-known phrase, do the notes in the original post become a lick? Do they not complete this musical phrase? Sure, it would sound better if the next-to-last note were an E or F#, but the note is D and is still musically valid.

Dec 5, 2023 - 5:52:33 PM
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2153 posts since 2/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

250gibson wrote:
"To me a lick is a musical phrase that is meant to add interest and/or used as a transition from one chord to another, or one section to another."

"The example in the original post would not really be a lick..."



I agree with the first part of what I quoted here, except I believe the words after "phrase" are not necessary for the definition. But let's say that the "transition" function of a lick can also be from one measure to the end of the song. Or a lick can simply be the end of a song. Good, we agree.

So suppose at the end of a song or solo we play what I've tabbed below then tack onto it the lick from the original post. ("X" on top line indicates space for an eighth note where nothing is played; first note is a quarter note on open 4th getting the count of "one and")


-----x---------0------------------0-----------|--------0-----------0--------------0-------------
---------2--h--3-----------3------------------|--2 h 3------2 h 3-----------------------------
-------------------------------------------------|------------------------------3 p 2--------------
--0---------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------------------
----------------------0-----------------0------|-------------------------0-------------------0----


When tacked onto this well-known phrase, do the notes in the original post become a lick? Do they not complete this musical phrase? Sure, it would sound better if the next-to-last note were an E or F#, but the note is D and is still musically valid.


I would say all three measures would be considered the lick, in this case a three measure phrase/lick. However the original measure by itself or played over and over comping behind a singer or soloist would not be a lick. If that were the case, any sequence of notes would be considered a lick. I think a lick is something other then  playing comp chords or rolls, but I think there has to be a melodic element to be considered a lick. 

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