Jamie Holroyd Guitar

Jamie Holroyd Guitar

5 Must Know Jazz Guitar Ending Licks

5 Must Know Jazz Guitar Ending Licks

Throughout my career as a professional jazz guitarist I have often being the one who the singer looks at to end a tune. Knowing a variety of ways to end a tune is not only useful for songs that we are working on, but it is also useful in real life situations.

If you know how to end many different styles of tunes, you will find it easier to know what ending will work best at jams or on gigs.

In yesterday’s lesson we looked at how we could develop our jazz guitar chops by looking at some cool ending chords and progressions. As a follow up to we will be learning how to play 5 jazz guitar ending licks that you can end standards you know with, so let’s get started.



Blues Ending


Let’s begin where it all started, the blues. Here is a typical classic blues riff with descending triplets that finish with a slide down from a Db6/9 into the I chord, C major 6/9.

You can use this on blues tunes obviously, but it also works great on jazz tunes with a bluesy feel such as slow-medium Duke Ellington tunes like ‘Don’t Get Around Much’ and ‘Do Nothing Til’ You Hear From Me’.




Pedal Blues Lick Ending


This is just a variation on the first lick that keeps a ‘C’ pedal on the top string. Very much a Robert Johnson style lick, it can also work as a great intro too.



‘A’ Train Ending


Although this ending is used in dozens of tunes I tend to always associate it with Duke Ellington’s ‘Take The A Train’. This one works great for 20′s and 30′s style swing tunes.



 Count Basie Ending


This one is a must know, especially for any swing gigs that you might end up playing. This ending is also good to have up your sleeve to pull out when a usual tag ending won’t work.




Cycling Ending


As discussed in the previous lesson, a great way you can end a tune is by going through the cycle of 4ths. This example shows a lick that does while keeping a ‘C’ pedal note on the top. This ending also makes a cool intro.



I hope you have fun with these ending and work them into tunes that you are working on.

There are countless ways you can end tunes that will you learn when developing your repertoire, and although most require a tag or simple ending, it is nice to have a hip ending here and there.

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What are some of your favorite jazz guitar endings? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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