Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 11-23-2010
Posted by Michael Mueller on November 23, 2010 at 5:31 PM
Editing some new, upcoming solo jazz guitar video lessons from Jake Reichbart put me in the mood for some classic jazz guitar. So I started reading through some transcriptions looking for a lick that would be versatile yet not too pedestrian, and I found it in, of all places, the Hal Leonard Jazz Guitar Method.
This minor ii-V-i lick is in the straight-ahead style of guitarists like Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, and Jim Hall, set over a moderate swing tune like "Autumn Leaves." It's a melodic motif established over the ii chord (F#m7b5) that is simply shifted up a minor 3rd and restated in its entirety over the V chord (B7b9), giving it a bit of diminished-derived tension before resolving comfortably to mostly chord tones over the i (Em7). As a result, this particular lick works well as a closing phrase.
This method of taking an entire phrase and shifting it in intervals can be a very effective soloing device. Jazz guitar instructor Sid Jacobs masterly demonstrates this device in his lessons on using 4ths intervals in jazz improv.