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!

Now, listen up, kids. Blowing people’s minds onstage is nice and all, but don’t make the mistake, like so many of us do, of aiming low. Before his death in 2007, sure, Oscar Peterson earned a worldwide reputation as a piano virtuoso, routine comparisons to Art Tatum, and emphatic, four-letter praise from Ray Charles. He played with Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, Stephane Grappelli, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and oh, um, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. Yeah. And he learned to play by getting the Bach Preludes and Fugues and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto under his fingers (and, presumably, keeping them there until they were as burnin’ as his jazz chops became). And that’s all good, and worth aspiring to, as is making over 200 records in your lifetime and touring the world. Yes, yes. But if you’re looking for some New Year’s Goals (and it’s already November), here are a few to add to the list, after “learning the modes” and “practicing more:” 1. Become Chancellor of a University (Peterson, York University in Toronto, 1991-94) 2. Be considered for the position of Lieutenant Governor (Peterson was offered the gig by incoming Ontario governor Jean Chretien in 1993, but turned it down) or, perhaps best of all, 3. Get a dormitory named after you (“Oscar Peterson Hall” on the University of Toronto Missassauga campus, 2008.)

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.