Watch the Sweet Licks online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from 30 Country Jazz Licks You MUST Know
Leon was a pioneer in the country jazz genre. His speed combined with the heavy bebop influence on his soloing made him a force to be dealt with. The Texas Troubadours led a double life as a band: While backing up Ernest Tubb they were one of the best country bands to play a shuffle, but whenever Ernest would turn them loose they would launch into country jazz instrumentals with Leon and Buddy trading blazing solos. After his time in Ernest Tubb’s band, Leon went on to be one of the house guitarists for The Grand Ole Opry. The time off the road allowed him to do more session work.
His playing can be heard with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, and George Straight to name a few. His signature guitar was the Epiphone Sheraton. We're gonna look at one of his most famous instrumentals, "Honey Fingers". In this example, Leon is playing over I-IV7-I-IV progression. Watch how alters the I chord by using a B diminished arpeggio and how he connects pentatonic positions.