Mike Stern Lick #1

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Mike Stern is a true master of combining blues phrases with dizzying bebop runs. Here is a lick I transcribed from his funky tune, "Ha Ha Hotel", which starts at 1:57. Note how Stern starts off with the E mixolydian mode, then plays the altered fifths, and finally descends on an E harmonic minor scale. His brilliant combination of these three ideas, especially the use of the b5, #5, and major 7th intervals, creates a distinct tension over the underlying E13 chord. The tempo is fast, so make sure to practice this slowly at first and choose your picking strokes wisely. Tune in to my next blog where I'll share another Stern lick. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!