Watch the Blues Be Gone online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from 30 Country Jazz Licks You MUST Know
What can you say about Les that hasn't been said before? Brilliant inventor, guitarist, arranger, engineer, champion of new talent...giant influence in my life. I started seeing him play back when I was twelve. Him and Tommy Doyle (Les' guitar tech and luthier) turned me onto a lot of great music. He’s credited as inventing the first solid body electric guitar, but that's not completely true. Rickenbacker created a lap steel looking guitar that was meant to be played by fretting notes, a very rare guitar to find these days. Paul Bigsby is really the guy to make this first solid body electrics that resemble that guitars we use today. Les' greatest contribution was the invention of multi-tracking - the layering of musical performances to create a sound of a full ensemble. His arrangements with his wife Mary Ford are brilliant. The tones, the effects, the parts, the vocal harmonies…. nothing is out of place. Perfection.
There are a lot of Les Paul records, most of which are great (some are great in a goofy way), and some are only available on vinyl. Any Les Paul and Mary Ford compilation is a good place to start. New Sounds, Bye Bye Blues and The Hawaiian Paradise records are some of my favorites.
Let's look at one of Les Paul's licks from the "Bye Bye Blues" solo. This lick is very much inspired by Django Reinhardt's embellishment of chord tones.