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Evolution of Jazz Guitar - Thursday - Week 1

Early Jazz Guitar Pioneers

Charlie Christian, a major influence for most bebop and modern guitarists, is known for his saxophone-like improvisations on the guitar. He was born on July 29, 1916 and grew up in a musical family in Oklahoma City. He started out on trumpet, but later switched to guitar due to some respiratory problems. He was the first guitarist to bring the instrument into the solo spotlight. This was due mainly to his use of an amplified instrument, which naturally increased his presence on the bandstand. His first major break was a seat in Benny Goodman's band in 1939. He made several recordings with Benny, along with a handful of his own and one with Lester Young. Charlie died just 3 years after his point of national recognition, suffering from tuberculosis. Although he was with us a short time, he left a lot of great music for us to study and enjoy.

Today's lick will help you merge arpeggio type ideas with more linear single lines. This is a great technique for forcing yourself into new areas on the guitar neck while retaining some continuity within the solo. In this example, you'll be playing over the bridge of "I Found a New Baby". Over the A7 chord, the solo starts with a quick arpeggio, which turns into a scale-like melody. During the next change, he does the same thing, except the order is reversed. As you learn this lick, notice the b9 over the G7 (first note in the second measure of the G7), which is very modern for the early '40s.

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

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