Watch the G.G. online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know

Okay, time for some Grant Green!

Green is less overtly chromatic than many of the horn and keyboard players he associated with, and he’s something of an anomaly among his guitar-playing peers in the way that he played strictly single lines as a soloist. While he did his share of great comping, especially in the organ trio format he spent so much time in, you never hear any chord punctuation, double stops or octaves in his solos. It’s not that unusual in and of itself, but for a guitarist who was otherwise so deeply drenched in the blues it seems kind of weird - try and imagine Wes, Benson or Kenny Burrell with all but the single note playing stripped out of their solos and you’ll see what I mean. Yet Green remains highly accessible to blues guitarists due to his penchant for mixing intense blues-scale riffing with twisting, rapid-fire alterations on the changes to make his point, combined with a tendency to favor blues-based forms.

Exhibit A: his Blue Note debut as a leader, Grant’s First Stand, consisted of four blues in various tempos and feels, an eight bar blues ("T’ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do") and the bluesy standard "Lullaby of the Leaves."

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