"Library" or collection of licks?

I was wondering whether there was a kind of “library” or collection of bass licks to learn from and draw inspiration from? This could be melodic licks or perhaps funk or slap licks etc. I am NOT talking about (more or less) famous bass lines, but small motifs that can be built into bass lines or solos etc. The most infamous of these is of course THE Lick - almost beaten to death by overuse:

I’d be interested in free resources (obviously! Who isn’t?) or paid resources that you might know of!

Perhaps @JoshFossgreen or @Gio know whether such collections exist at all!?



Cool idea, @joergkutter. I don’t know of anything like this… except for the brains of bass players.

We could start a nefarious organization that harvests the brains of bassists and then assimilates them into a giant, organic bass super computer for the purpose of cataloging and analyzing the bass riffs of the world… If you want.

Otherwise, tons of transcription? @JoshFossgreen

Is my idea a good idea, @bassbot fortune?


:crystal_ball: As I see it, yes


NOOOOO not The Licc ™


Not Adam Neely’s most intelligent video, but, I do have to admire his dedication, stamina, and equipoise through that.


Not to mention bladder control




Seriously. The guy must be a ninja.


You had me at “nefarious”, @Gio! And, it seems, we have BassBot’s blessing as well :grin:

So, I was thinking of exploiting a bug in the iPhone to directly extract from musicians’ brains… [withdraws to the lair]


With the not insignificant perk that there will be fewer bassists better than us as the project progresses.


Hey @joergkutter, I know of an AMAZING RESOURCE that has EVERY LICK EVER PLAYED… it’s called your record collection. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sorry, I get paid a commission by the International Ornery Music Teachers Association every time I tell someone to transcribe.

But seriously, in my experience reading a lick from a library or someone else’s chart is hundreds of times less useful than figuring it out yourself. When you find them yourself, you:

  • Train your ear (yay)
  • Make a personal connection to the lick
  • Learn it in context, thus are able to use it more intelligently

Like, if I show you this awesome Jaco lick:

It’s fun to read, but I don’t think you’ll get as much out of it as I did, because I learned it by ear (from a bit in his instructional video where he’s jamming with Jerry Jemmott, but he plays it other places too), so I got it in my ear really well, felt the context he used it in.

And I was so excited I learned it by ear that I started sticking it in my solos and stuff in the following weeks so that I absorbed it into my musical DNA. It’s harder to do that with stuff you’re just reading, in my experience.


This times 1,000,000.
And with streaming services essentially making one’s record collection THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF RECORDED MUSIC… you’re not wrong.


Thanks, @JoshFossgreen and @Gio - so, no shortcuts, eh!? Oh, well, back to… wax on, wax off :grin:


I think I know exactly what you mean.
Melodic Patterns.
I have some in a guitar book and have looked on and off for similar patterns for bass - building block tools to use for each scale type?

This is from the guitar book - is this the sort of thing you mean, but for bass?


Thanks, @Mark_D! Yes and no!

Without being a linguistic expert, I would define licks as being a bit “more” than patterns, or, on other words, patterns to be more rudimentary. The pages of patterns to exercise that you show are quite “old school” and I know similar stuff from the saxophone (or, in fact, the rudiments from drums). And, yes, we should practice them also, but they are just not so much fun, I guess.

The licks I was looking for are more elaborate (like the Jaco lick @JoshFossgreen showed) and likely more fun and also more readily used in a bass line or solo context. I guess, this is were ultimately patterns are headed, but I just wanted to bypass them :grin:


Ok cool.

I stumbled across this the other night, you may find it interesting/useful.

Skip to about 3.30 to dodge the waffle, and there’s some great riff ideas later on - from about 5.18 onwards

There’s also the transcriptions site here - https://freebasstranscriptions.com/