LOTW – Rai’s Second Lick


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This weeks LOTW is another bluesy lick stolen from the mighty Rai Thistlethwayte.

A few weeks ago I posted a lick of Rai taken from his Roland V presentation gig at the Sydney Conservatory.

Great responses means great success, so.. here’s another one!

Rai will likely be good for more lick-grab-bag fillers in the future.

It’s a Bbm lick that resolves to major at the end, making it very suitable to take a short, bluesy sidestep into minor pentatonics when playing in a major (Bb, in this case) key.

First the “basic” version of this lick:


You could, however, also “drag” the roll, like this:


When landing on the “d” – we are pretty much insinuating having arrived home. The most obvious chord / harmony for that, in this case, would be a Bb.

This means that we could easily harmonize the “d” with a sixth on top, or in other words, the root “b-flat.”


In this last version I harmonized the lick with some chords, first insinuating Bbm – or better said, it’s parallel/relative Db – as the key (which, technically, it is – but don’t be fooled by the versatility of, in true blues-matter, using such minor flavors over a Bb major harmony / key) by playing a 2 – 5, expected to go to the 1, which is then not only substituted for it’s minor parallel/relative (Db -> Bbm), but also turned major. So that’s IV, VII, I in minor, where the I is then turned major. Quite a nice sound I think.

Other way to look at it is the “traditional gospel” ending flat VI – flat VII – I, where that flat VI is then no longer a rootless Ebm9 (although that’s easily substituted in as the minor relative/parallel) but an Gbmaj7

The first is more-or-less a way to clarify why the second explanation sounds good (it’s all about II V I’s ;))