Herbie Hancock – Seven Steps To Heaven (From the album “Seven Steps To Heaven”) LOTW #67]

Here is a famous Herbie line from Seven Steps To Heaven. To start this one off Herbie comes down a D- pentatonic, then what I love is he starts a the G7 harmonies a beat early by playing a b13 going to the 3rd of the G7 then landing on #9 on beat 1 of the G7 chord. He continues downward and uses the F# as a half step pivot to move back up and he leaves the #9 in the line instead of going to the third which is neat as well.

Over the G-7 he plays all diatonically then slides into the 7th of the C7 and plays with the surrounding chord tones. He continues his extended approach by landing on an F# over and Fmaj7 chord. This works because he is just extending his line over the bar line and resolving in the next measure by landing on the 5th, the note G.

Points for practicing this lick:

  • Extend your approaches and resolutions over the bar lines
  • Practice connecting eighth note lines together slowly in order to then speed up your lines so you are creating fast spontaneous improv lines


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