3 Jazz Guitar Lines From 3 Guitarists

There are 3 great guitarists lines I'm playing, discuss and analyze. The guitarists are Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery and George Benson. The intention with the lesson is not just to learn the lines but also learn from the lines.

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3 Jazz Guitar Lines From 3 Guitarists
In this lesson there are 3 great guitarists lines I'm playing, discuss and analyze. The guitarists are Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery and George Benson. The intention with the lesson is not just to learn the lines but also learn from the lines.

When studying solos it's good to learn from the licks and lines. If you just play them and don't think so much from where they're coming they will be in your vocabulary but you don't know how they're built so you can't create your own licks and lines from them. If you instead learn the lines and then analyzes from which scale and how they work in context you also learn from the licks and lines. That is a very good way to learn because you can then use them in other situations with the same ideas but with other scales.

Another thing to have in mind according to licks and lines is when playing them yourself try to make them to your own. Tips is to change the rhythm a little bit or put them in another context so if the lick is to a certain chord play the lick with the same idea but to another kind of chord. A good example is the C6 arpeggio idea in the Charlie Christian lines in this lesson used to the C chord but you take the idea to the Dm chord instead and with a Dm6 arpeggio.

These 3 lines can be a good start for you if you are interested in playing jazz. You should be a intermediate to advanced player to master the lines in original tempos but you don't need to play them in these tempos. They work great in slower tempos as well and the importance is that you also learn from the lines so you understand why the musicians use the tones they do.

I'll explain everything about the lines in the video lesson and you have also a short explanation in the text to the notes/tabs below.

Charlie Christian Jazz lines

Here are some lines from Charlie Christian soloing on the tune Solo Flight. I recommend to listen to Charlie's great soloing through this tune.

The tune is in the key of C. He's playing inside to the chords starting from C major scale in the first three bars.

In the 4th bar he's doing a nice sweep with the tones D, F, A, D to E. He continues with a C6 arpeggio on C and a C# diminished arpeggio on C#7diminished chord and finish the lines with chromatic tones in the Dm dorian scale and a arpeggio on the G9 chord.

Wes Montgomery Jazz lines

The lines from Wes Montgomery comes from his soloing to the tune Misty when he's playing with Wynton Kelly trio.

The tune is in the key of G.

He's staring the soloing with a soulful lick in the G major pentatonic scale to the Gmaj7 chord and continue with the same idea in the C major pentatonic scale on the D minor chord since it's C major key and playing altered tones with the same rhythmic idea to the G7 chord.

Then he's playing C major scale on the Cmaj7 chord and C melodic minor on the Cm/F7 chords and finished the lines with a chromatic phrase to the Gmaj7 chord.

George Benson Jazz lines

These lines from George Benson are coming from the tune Billies Bounce, that's a Charlie Parker tune. When playing in Benson's tempo the lines are quite advanced but start practice in a slower tempo and built it up in time.

The blues is in the key of F.

He's starting the chorus with a short lick using the major pentatonic scale in F. Next he's playing some bluesy lines using the tones // Root (F) - major 2nd (G) - minor 3rd (Ab) - perfect 5th (C) and major 6th (D) //. These five tones are great to do bluesy lines and they works through the whole blues chorus. On Am7/D7 he's using the chord tones to playing inside the chords and on the Gm7/C7 he mix the F major scale (G minor dorian/C7 mixolydian) with some chromatic tones and a surprising D triad on Gm that sounds great in context. He's finish the lines with a very nice minor to major lick related to the key of F.

YouTube preview picture

Here you can download the Pdf tabs to the lines:
Good luck!

About the author:
Thomas Berglund is a musician that has played in many different styles through the years and he has his heart in music with improvisation. He also work as a guitar teacher and have a YouTube channel with guitar lessons, performances and concert videos. Here's Thomas guitar lessons website.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Love how this lesson has a great musical context to it. Some theory and techniques are always needed to show the end user or player how these ideas and melodies can be used in a practical setting. This approach is missed almost always by our community. I believe if we understand how things work then the "why" comes along with it. Good catch sir. Keep it classy
    Thanks a lot for your comment ShredderMan! It´s very much appreciated!