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!

Okay, time for some Grant Green! Green is less overtly chromatic than many of the horn and piano players we’ve checked out so far, and he’s something of an anomaly among his peers in another way as well: the fact that he played strictly single lines as a soloist. While he did his share of great comping, especially in the organ trio format he spent so much time in, you never hear any chord punctuation, double stops or octaves in his solos. It’s not that unusual in and of itself, but for a guitarist who was otherwise so deeply drenched in the blues it seems kind of weird – try and imagine Wes, Benson or Kenny Burrell with all but the single note playing stripped out of their solos and you’ll see what I mean. Yet Green remains highly accessible to blues guitarists due to his penchant for mixing intense blues-scale riffing with twisting, rapid-fire alterations on the changes to make his point, combined with a tendency to favor blues-based forms. Exhibit A: his Blue Note debut as a leader, Grant’s First Stand, consisted of four blues in various tempos and feels, an eight bar blues (“T’ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do”) and the bluesy standard “Lullaby of the Leaves.”

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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.