Thomas Berglund
Thomas Berglund
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3 Jazz guitar lines from 3 guitarists

In this lesson there are 3 great guitarists lines I´m playing, discuss and analyze. The guitarists are Charlie Christian , Wes Montgomery and George Benson . The intention with the lesson is not just to learn the lines but also learn from the lines.

When studying it´s good to learn from the licks and lines. If you just play them and don´t think so much from where they´re coming they will be in your vocabulary but you don´t know how they´re built so you can´t create your own licks and lines from them. If you instead learn the lines and then analyzes from which scale and how they work in context you also learn from the licks and lines. That is a very good way to learn because you can then use them in other situations with the same ideas but with other scales.

Another thing to have in mind according to licks and lines is when playing them yourself try to make them to your own. Tips is to change the rhythm a little bit or put them in another context so if the lick is to a certain chord play the lick with the same idea but to another kind of chord. A good example is the C6 arpeggio idea in the Charlie Christian lines in this lesson used to the C chord but you take the idea to the Dm chord instead and with a Dm6 arpeggio.

These 3 lines can be a good start for you if you are interested in playing jazz. You should be a intermediate to advanced player to master the lines in original tempos but you don´t need to play them in these tempos. They work great in slower tempos as well and the importance is that you also learn from the lines so you understand why the musicians use the tones they do.

I´ll explain everything about the lines in the video lesson and you have also a short explanation in the text to the notes/tabs below.

Charlie Christian Jazz line

Here are some lines from Charlie Christian soloing on the tune Solo Flight. I recommend to listen to Charlie´s great soloing through this tune.

The tune is in the key of C. He´s playing inside to the chords starting from C major scale in the first three bars.

In the 4th bar he´s doing a nice sweep with the tones D, F, A, D to E. He continues with a C6 arpeggio on C and a C# diminished arpeggio on C#7diminished chord and finish the lines with chromatic tones in the Dm dorian scale and a arpeggio on the G9 chord.

Charlie Christian Lines From Solo Flight

Wes Montgomery Jazz lines

The lines from Wes Montgomery comes from his soloing to the tune Misty when he´s playing with Wynton Kelly trio.

The tune is in the key of G.

He´s staring the soloing with a soulful lick in the G major pentatonic scale to the Gmaj7 chord and continue with the same idea in the C major pentatonic scale on the D minor chord since it´s C major key and playing altered tones with the same rhythmic idea to the G7 chord.

Then he´s playing C major scale on the Cmaj7 chord and C melodic minor on the Cm/F7 chords and finished the lines with a chromatic phrase to the Gmaj7 chord.

Wes Montgomery Jazz lines

George Benson Jazz lines

These lines from George Benson are coming from the tune Billies Bounce, that´s a Charlie Parker tune. When playing in Benson´s tempo the lines are quite advanced but start practice in a slower tempo and built it up in time.

The blues is in the key of F.

He´s starting the chorus with a short lick using the major pentatonic scale in F. Next he´s playing some bluesy lines using the tones // Root (F) - major 2nd (G) - minor 3rd (Ab) - perfect 5th (C) and major 6th (D) //. These five tones are great to do bluesy lines and they works through the whole blues chorus. On Am7/D7 he´s using the chord tones to playing inside the chords and on the Gm7/C7 he mix the F major scale (G minor dorian/C7 mixolydian) with some chromatic tones and a surprising D triad on Gm that sounds great in context. He´s finish the lines with a very nice minor to major lick related to the key of F.

George Benson Lines From Billies Bounce

Good luck!

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@pauljones   4 years ago
You're right when you say that licks must be analized and put in different context intstead of just playing them mindlessly. And the best way is to analyze the licks of the greats. I've studied some of the melodic lines by Coltrane and Parker, and they're very hard to learn right, but once you get the idea of what they're doing, it's worth the effort. It really boosts your soloing to the next level. I already downloaded the pdfs to study these lines. Thanks, and great lesson Thomas!
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   4 years ago
Thank you very much for your comment Paul! I can just agree with you that it´s worth the effort to dive into lines and licks sometime to find new stuff to the playing.
@ddaneskovic   4 years ago
Great lesson Thomas! Licks are very cool especially last one from George Benson...I manage to play along with Your video in right tempo by practicing from very slow tempo with different combinations and with gradualism in speed. I used in practice counting rhythm (with and without dividing beats), with metronome and with play along with Your video, first with slower part and finally I manage to play along in right tempo few times. This gradualness in practice is very important especially for hard parts in solo so I recommend it to anyone who wants quality in his playing. It takes some time but benefits are obvious...Also I recommend every time to starts with practicing from slower tempo and with different combinations...
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   4 years ago
Makes me glad you like the lesson @ddaneskovic! Your comment is a lead sheet on how to practice these guitar licks and how to practice in general. It´s always good to start slow and speed it up to what you can manage for the moment. It´s really necessary as you say to take the time because you save time in the long run. Thanks for a very nice and "How to practice" comment!