The Database of Jazz Licks
A collection of beautiful melodic ideas for improvising musicians.
About The Project
BopLand.org is a free knowledge database for improvising musicians containing hundreds of jazz licks over most common chord progressions. The key points about the project are:
- Most of the melodical ideas in the database originated from the bebop era
- BopLand jazz licks are applicable to a wide range of musical instruments
- The database is free for both personal and professional use
The BopLand.org project has been heavily influenced by the following artists: Clifford Brown, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, John Lewis, Thelonious Monk, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Lee Morgan, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Sonny Rollins. From the technical standpoint the BopLand project is based on the LilyPond music typesetting system.Learn More
Searchable Licks with playback feature available online for a variety of musical instruments for free without registration
Keys are all covered with a number of licks for each chord progression
Types of notation - licks are written out in treble and bass clefs as well as as guitar tabs
Years of keeping the jazz knowledge database up and running for free
BopLand.org has the following collections of licks
Treble Clef Licks
A collection of 1800+ jazz licks for treble clef instruments in standard notation. The licks are searchable by song names or chord progressions.
Bass Clef Licks
A great number of jazz licks written out in bass clef. Many of them had been originally played on other musical instruments thus offering a great deal of new ideas for bass players.
Walking Bass Lines
Hundreds of walking bass lines written out in bass clef as played by the grands.
The cards below are linked to pages with licks over the corresponding chord progressions
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
You are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially.
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
Under the following terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
See the legal code here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use bopland licks for my professional activities?
Yes, you absolutely can. Using bopland.org for gigging or teaching students has no restrictions. If you plan to re-publish the content of this site for personal or commercial purposes, that’s also fine, but in this case you need to properly attribute this work to the BopLand.org project by putting an explicit note on this on your website or the book you are publishing. In addition to that, the material you publish should be shared alike under the same Creative Commons license. Read more about the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license here.
Is there a way to download the entire database or get a single PDF file with all licks from your website?
No, there is no such option at this point. The database can be used online without restrictions, but there is no single file you can download. Buying a book on Amazon may be an alternative option.
Why are licks not written out for the entirety of each song, but rather only for the first few bars only?
This is the approach we use. Instead of learning the entire solo we break it down into short memorable pieces that can be reshuffled and learned independently. It gives better flexibility in selecting the material you like and the learning curve for this new information to adopt can also be easier compared to doing it in one big chunk.
Why would you sometimes use two different enharmonic notes like Eb and D# in the same measure?
It is dictated by musical theory and doing otherwise would not be semantically correct. It happens a lot in different contexts, but a typical example would be an altered dominant seventh chord G7(alt) resolving into Cmaj. If the melody goes from up to down you may see notes like Bb, Ab, Eb and when it resolves to E with approaching, inevitably one will have to write D# instead of Eb.
How can I help or support the project?
The best way would be to just create and play beautiful music and share it with others. The next best option is to tell a friend about us. Finally, buying one of our books on Amazon would be a great way to support us financially.
Get In Touch
Want to get in touch? We'd love to hear from you. Here's how you can reach us.