Watch the Week 3: Sliding 9ths online guitar lesson by Bob Wolfman from Essential Guide To Jazz Blues Comping
Sliding 9ths/Horn Lines on the Guitar -
T. Bone Walker is an artist that has had a huge impact on the blues and jazz/blues. He had a very innovative style and approach to playing the guitar and he wrote two iconic songs, "Stormy Monday" and "Mean Old World". Tremendously influential, T. Bone used 9th chords, sliding them up and down on the neck of the guitar, and this was a pretty pervasive technique that's been used throughout the decades all the way till the present day. You can hear examples of sliding 9ths on Steely Dan recordings, pop and R&B songs, and Stevie Ray Vaughn was notorious for using these. This whole approach or concept of "sliding 9ths" has carried over to horn sections playing in blues bands and vice versa for guitarists of the genre. Things to keep in mind:
1. There are only a couple of forms needed to play this sliding effect. Less is often more (as Miles Davis used to say), so we don't need to use a lot of chord forms, and one or two is usually most desirable.
2. These forms are very versatile and can be used in conjunction with one another in dozens of rhythms and/or riffs.
3. Like any chord form, or combination of forms, they may be played in any key.
4. These forms can slide up and down (a whole or half-step, or chromatically wider distances) and can function much the same as horn section playing a line along with the rhythm section.