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 George 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!

Back to Hank Mobley this week, and another lick that works over a 24-bar blues with a straight-eighth feel. With plenty of time on each chord of the turnaround, this lick takes the idea of the bebop dominant 7th scale to its logical conclusion, descending for a full-octave over the V chord and partway into the IV before climbing back up the scale and landing on some blues moves at the return to the I. It’s as good a metaphor as any for Mobley’s general outlook: nimble execution of the changes, shot through with blues sensibilities, and all of it cleverly folded into some kind of twist or another on the usual forms and progressions. But then, what did you expect of someone who started his recording career with Art Blakey and Horace Silver, made albums with the likes of Lee Morgan and Wynton Kelly, and released LPs with titles like “No Room For Squares” and “A Caddy For Daddy”? While you won’t stumble across Mobley on anything as overtly downhome as an organ combo record, for a guy brainy enough to fill in for Coltrane in the Miles Davis quintet in 1961, he’s one soulful individual.

Read on for the full guitar lesson…

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.