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Chris Spencer >> Evolution of Jazz Guitar >>

Evolution of Jazz Guitar - Monday, Week 1

Early Jazz Guitar Pioneers

Eddie Lang, also known as Salvatore Massaro (by birth) and as Blind Willie Dunn (by choice of a producer), has been credited as the first American jazz guitarist. He was born on October 25, 1902 in Philadelphia where he spent most of his life. Lang was often associated with his high school buddy and violinist Joe Venuti. Together they became first-call soloists for the popular bands in the late '20s and early '30s. His single line playing set a new benchmark for the role of the guitar in jazz. Eddie passed away early at the age of 31 due to some complications from a tonsillectomy.

Today's example is an easy, straightforward lick to start the week with. It is taken from the bridge of "Eddie's Twister" which contains a very common chord progression. The tune is in the key of F and the bridge starts with a dominant 7th chord built of the 3rd degree of the scale (A7). The chord progression moves by fourths around the scale until it finally ends up on the (I) chord at the beginning of the next section. It is also known as a III - VI - II - V bridge or a rhythm changes bridge, the latter derived from the famous tune, "I Got Rhythm". As you learn today's lick, notice the augmented triads over the C7 in the last two measures.

Learn this lick and practice with this jam track
Skill Level: guitar pick onguitar pick onguitar pick offguitar pick off
Key: F


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