While it might be wise to avoid clichés, you can certainly learn a lot from them. Musical clichés are what helps group the idioms of certain genres/styles together. Trying to emulate a particular style might mean using a musical cliché – but adding your own unique twist.
Take for example this bluesy melodic ending over a I7 – V7 – I progression:
Let’s dissect into this.
One thing that pops out in an instance is the use of a chromatic line against the upper tonic drone that leads down towards the fifth of the V chord.
Try that for yourself. Build a chromatic line that alternates in pitch between a drone. Now, lead the chromatic line toward the next chord, and after that to the following chord. Listen to how the contour and dissonances shape the forward moving motion towards a cadence.
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