Jazz Guitar Corner: Anatomy of a Lick — George Benson Bluesy ii V I

George Benson is a master soloist, and his command of jazz guitar vocabulary is up there with the best improvisers of his generation. While learning to play George’s licks can be a great way to dig into his sound and bring some of his lines into your solos, it can be much more beneficial to dissect his licks to see what concepts he was using to build these great-sound lines. That way, you can not only learn his licks but also be able to construct your own Benson-sounding lines on the spot in your solo by applying the concepts used to build these classic lines. In today’s lesson, we’ll be looking at a short George Benson ii V I lick and the concepts behind the construction of this idea. George Benson Bluesy ii V I Lick Before you dig into the concepts behind this cool, bluesy lick, listen to the lick and get it under your fingers, as this will make breaking it down into its component parts much easier. Here is the lick written out over a short ii-V-I chord progression in the key of F major. Click the SoundCloud link below to hear this example:

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Matt Warnock is the owner of mattwarnockguitar.com, a free website that provides hundreds of lessons and resources designed to help guitarists of all experience levels meet their practice and performance goals. Matt lives in the UK, where he teaches Skype guitar students all over the world, and is an examiner for the London College of Music (Registry of Guitar Tutors).