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6 Must-Learn Neo Soul Improv Licks

Have you ever listened to artists like Robert Glasper or Cory Henry and wondered how to get that modern, neo-soul sound in your playing? While these players have had years of playing and experience, one of the fastest ways to achieve this sound is to learn some jazz vocabulary that fits the genre. Not only will this give you ideas to draw upon during your own improvisation, but it will attune you to the different patterns and inflections involved in the captivating neo-soul style.

In today's featured video, I'm highlighting a few of my favorite excerpts from my jazz piano PDF guide, 20 Neo Soul Improv Exercises: Exercises for Mastering Neo Jazz Improv and Harmony (super clever name, I know!). If you want to check out the full PDF, you will find the exercises transcribed and written out in all keys.

These licks are going to help you focus in on all aspects of neo-jazz influenced harmony and improvisation. They are heavily inspired by the current greats of the neo-jazz style. Here are a few aspects of your playing that will be strengthened by practicing these exercises:

  1. Technique

  2. Improvisational right-hand vocabulary

  3. Sense of harmony


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