In popular music genres such as country, blues, jazz, or rock music, a lick is “a stock pattern or phrase” consisting of a short series of notes used in solos and melodic lines and accompaniment. Licks in rock and roll are often used through a formula and variations technique in which variants of simple, stock ideas are blended and developed during the solo.
In a jazz band, a lick may be performed during an improvised solo, either during an accompanied solo chorus or during an unaccompanied solo break. Jazz licks are usually original short phrases that can be altered so they can be used over a song’s changing harmonic progressions.
Blues is a musical genre known as the folklore of African-American musicians. Its origins are associated with the southern states of the USA, that is the region conventionally called the “deep south”. The very name of the genre (sadness, despair) is related to its nostalgic form, also in the textual layer. Blues pieces touch male-female relationships as well as feelings and emotions (love, loneliness, faithfulness, jealousy). However, blues performers often sing about freedom, work and travel. The songs also feature social criticism relating mainly to racial inequality and political issues.
Many artists are inspired by blues music and combine it with other styles. In this way, such musical mergers as punk blues, soul blues or blues rock. The popularity of this genre in the USA has led to the emergence of regional varieties, such as Louisiana, New Orleans, Texas and Detroit blues. There are also factions characteristic of other countries – British blues and African blues.