So here is one more Herbie line before we start looking at McCoy.

Herbie has so many in’s and out’ to his lines, meaning they are bobbing and weaving all around chord tones. In the first measure he uses a nice triplet phrase with chord tones then begins to target non chord tones which sounds great because it gives off a sus sound over the A7.

On second measure he starts with two roots then from the third makes his way down to approach the Ab-7 chord with a b13,5th and #11, and lands on the maj 7 over the Ab-7 which sounds great. From here he simply moves up the chord tones to an Ab-7 chord all the way up to the 9.

In the G-7 chord he uses a triplet for a trill like motion. These little triplet sets using side by side notes gives off a great texture. One you should isolate and practice. He is going down all chromatically over this G-7 chord and continues down chromatically until he reaches the 5th of the Ab7 sus then proceeds diatonically.

He resolves to the 5th of the D-7 and plays a nice triad movement of an E- triad over the D-7 chord to finish off the line.

Points for practicing this lick:

  • Triplet phrases with side by side notes
  • Use chromatics as much as you want to resolve into harmonies
  • Outline chord tones
  •  Use grace notes


Picture of Brenden Lowe

Brenden Lowe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and organized jazz piano education tips you actually need. Start making more progress, for free.

*Plus, get instant access to the 3-part Jazz Piano School System training – an jazz piano education system that actually helps you get better fast.

Jazz Piano School