- Robert Witmer
A term used in jazz, blues and pop music to describe a short recognizable melodic motif, formula or phrase. Improvising jazz and blues musicians have at their disposal a repertory of licks, some of their own invention by which they can be identified, some borrowed from other players, and a solo may be little more than the stringing together of a number of such fragments. In some styles (e.g. slow blues) and for some ubiquitous chord progressions (e.g. I–II–V–I in major or minor keys) a common stock of licks is in circulation....