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!

The controversy over Playing George vs. Singing George is almost as thick as when the U.S. Post Office held a public debate over whether to immortalize Young Elvis or Old Elvis on a stamp. At this point it’s clear that while Singing George may have to bust out “On Broadway” at least once a year for the rest of his life, Playing George hasn’t gone anywhere and is in fact still as ferocious as ever. It certainly makes you wonder whether Wes Montgomery viewed those crossover records he was making for Creed Taylor when he passed away as just a chance to pay the bills, after which he fully intended to resume going out and kicking serious quartet ass as the world’s most happening jazz guitarist. We’ll never know, of course, and it’s not like Nat Cole ever turned around after making “Nature Boy” and opted to play club gigs with a trio again either. And why should he have? The hours suck for that kind of work unless you’re a vampire, and you don’t have to deal with untuned pianos when a fifty-piece orchestra’s got your back. But back to Benson. The beauty of the recorded age is that if you want, you can go hang out with Playing George any time you like – just pick up a copy of Giblet Gravy or It’s Uptown! or, for that matter, Alligator Boogaloo, which includes this groovy V-I lick on “The Thang.”

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.