50 Jazz Blues Licks is an exclusive series of video guitar lessons by David Hamburger covering the jazz blues styles of historically great guitarists like Geoge Benson, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, and many others. A new lick will be released each week, so be sure to subscribe and check back often!
Spend any time checking out the classic jazz guitarists of the sixties and you’ll inevitably run across organist Jack McDuff. Coming straight out of the Hammond B-3 explosion ignited by Jimmy Smith in the mid-fifties, McDuff’s earliest group as a leader featured George Benson on guitar, and between 1960 and 1964 alone McDuff not only made over two dozen records as a leader, but did so with both Grant Green and Kenny Burrell as well as Benson, while also appearing as a sideman on classics like Green’s Grantstand, Benson’s New Boss Guitar, and albums by Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Jimmy Witherspoon, among others. The example here, inspired by McDuff’s funky mid-sixties work, is really two licks: first comes the cool descending double-time blues scale idea over the first three bars of the blues. Then the move in measure 4 is based on a classic bebop substitution in which you pretend the upcoming IV chord (the Eb in measure 5) is temporarily the I, and approach it with its own ii and altered V chords, or Fmin7 to Bb7 alt. Arpeggiate *that*, and you get the second lick, the cool move that takes you through measure four and into measure five.
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Video Guitar Lesson
If you like these guitar lessons, be sure to also check out Frank Vignola’s Jazz Up Your Blues, which showcases essential jazz blues vocabulary and techniques, Mark Stefani’s Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines, which takes you on a sonic learning tour through the funky rhythm and blues stylings and fretboard concepts of top jazz blues players, and of course all of David Hamburger’s courses.