Along the historic timeline of American music, traditional country blues evolved into an electric style. This marked the first bricks in the road to jazz music. Legends such as Charlie Christian, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, and Grant Green were all preeminent pioneers of electric blues and its evolution into jazz guitar. These foundational figures in the style helped stock the library of techniques and standards employed by every blues and jazz blues artist today.
In his course, Views of The Blues, Sean McGowan helps you dive into the teachings of these prominent figures. Thus, you, too, can base your jazz approach on the foundations that made all of the great players we know today.
Here are ten video jazz blues guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Sean McGowan’s Views of The Blues on TrueFire!
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – CC Swing Riff – Lick 2
Charlie Christian had the innate ability to create long lead lines, that were beautifully crafted and always had a strong sense of direction. This lick in the key of F showcases how he would create opening lead lines using a chromatic riff that almost sounded like a horn section line in a big band.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – Benny’s Bugle – Stylistic Etude 1: Performance
This etude features two choruses of lead lines over a 12-bar blues in Bb, expanding on the ideas in lick one. In addition to blues vocabulary and chromatic ideas, this solo features techniques such as sliding, double-stops, ii-V lines, and even long note bending in the style of a swing tenor saxophonist.
Guitar Lesson – Views of the Blues – KB Q&A – Lick 4
This lick illustrates Burrell’s way of creating a call and response, or question and answer approach to the blues, which can be an extremely powerful soloing device. In this case, he “dialogues” between a lead line and rhythmic comping over a three chord blues in C.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – Chitlins – Stylistic Etude 2: Performance
This chord progression and solo is from Burrell’s jazz/blues standard, “Chitlins con Carne”, from his landmark Midnight Blue recording featuring Stanley Turrentine. This stylistic etude features several choruses of blues soloing and illustrates the Q&A strategies from lick four, as well as developing ideas and building momentum, much in the same manner as Charlie Christian.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – WM Diminished Neighbor
This lick showcases Montgomery’s use of the diminished scale in a blues context, neighbor tones to outline chords, as well as minor 9 and 11 arpeggios moving down chromatically in a turnaround.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – Gulf Coast Blues – Stylistic Etude 1: Performance
Based on the chord changes to Montgomery’s standard, “West Coast Blues”, this original etude features elements of tritone substitution, repetition of ideas, characteristic phrasing, and lead lines in octaves.
Guitar Lesson – Views of the Blues – GG ii V Turnaround II – Lick 3
Here’s another example of a ii-V line on a turnaround, this time at the end of the blues progression leading back to the top of the form.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – Green Blues – Stylistic Etude 1: Overview
This stylistic etude showcases Green’s lines on a medium uptempo blues in the key of Bb. It features many of the aforementioned concepts covered in each of the five licks and offers plenty of ideas that mix blues and bebop vocabulary that you can use in your own soloing.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – Green Blues – Stylistic Etude 1: Performance
I’ll perform this one up to tempo so you can get a feel for how it sounds with the jam track.
Jazz Blues Guitar Lesson – Green Blues – Stylistic Etude 1: Breakdown
Now, let’s break this down piece by piece.
Digging these free video jazz blues guitar lessons? Check out Sean McGowan’s full course, Views of The Blues.