Wednesday, Week 2

Evolution of Jazz - Be-Bop Guitarists

At the age of nine, Joe Pass (1929 - '94) was encouraged to pick up the guitar by his father.  He spent most of his time practicing and began working dances and weddings by the age of fourteen.  He worked with such jazz giants as George Shearing, Benny Goodman, Bud Shank, Les McCann, Chet Baker, Johnny Griffin, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington to name a few.  He stands as one of the greatest jazz guitarists ever to grace this planet.

Today's lick is reminiscent of one of Joe's recordings, "Speak Low".  Although it's short and sweet, it will help you with incorporating triplets into your lines as well as improve your dexterity with hammer-ons and pull-offs.  If the pull-offs in bar 2 sound weak, try "flicking" your fretting finger downward as you leave the string.  In effect, that finger is increasing the string's vibration, which gives strength to the note.

Learn this lick and then practice to

teacher: Chris Spencer
skill level:
Key:  Ab