How to play a similar style of Wes Montgomery? What Scales does he use how do you get that jazzy sound?
its far more than "octaves"  you will need to study jazz and all that entails..study of harmony theory melody..now it was said that Wes did not know any of that or how to read...but he did absorbe alot of it playing with  jazz musicians who did..

the constant question.."what scales do they use"  major and minor..there are many ways to use them..they cover much of the music every musician uses..and yes there are all the "exotic" scales that are variations of the major and minor..

to begin:  listen to alot of jazz..the genre covers about 100 years of various styles..including early blues pioneers 

learn to play some "easy" standards - they were the template for many jazz players to improvise over..

for positive results I suggest a GOOD teacher..and lots of practice
play well

Last edited by wolflen at Sep 23, 2017,
Charlie Christian was one of the very first electric guitar players, which meant he pretty much invented how to "play electric guitar" back then as a soloing instrument in the big bands. Wes taught himself to play by listening to and learning all of Charlie Christian's solos note for note and pretty much developed the sound of how to play jazz guitar, still considered the best even almost 50 years since he's been gone.  Lots of jazz guitarists now try to learn all of Wes' playing.

If you listen to and watch Wes you will notice a few things:

- he thinks ahead moving around the finger board in such a way that his fingers are always in just the right place to play the next notes
- his timing, choice of notes and chords, and musical ideas are still unsurpassed 
- he often solos in three parts, the first part with notes, the second part with octaves, and the third part with chords
- he often begins a line on the fifth and start it a beat "early", many many other things that make it sound like him

Here is insight into what's going on... if you search youtube there are some others vids like this where you can follow the process, also some interviews.

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Last edited by PlusPaul at Sep 23, 2017,
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How to play a similar style of Wes Montgomery? What Scales does he use how do you get that jazzy sound?

Wes is really in a class of his own - he really had an interesting approach to phrases. He was an ear player.

If you have the chops I would suggest learning his solo from his version of Freddie the Freeloader - i think there's a tab for it somewhere - that solo includes a ton of his great moves. It's also a blues so you can actually use some of the lines in other contexts. Learning that solo propelled my playing in many ways - phrasing etc. Hard to describe in words - nest to learn some!
Last edited by reverb66 at Sep 24, 2017,
You can learn some of his stuff and imitate the classic jazz guitar sound, but if you want to understand what he's doing you have to understand jazz harmony in general.

What scales he (or any other jazz player) used is not very relevant to analyzing his playing. You're not going to discern clear scales very often, and when they do appear they only last as long as the one or two chords they're used for.