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Golden Age of Guitar Instrumentals - Wednesday - Week 1

The Roots
Today's lick is the second Charlie Christian-style phrase of the roots section. It is played in D flat with a fast swing feel and contains numerous important components. The ascending run in the first two bars is a classic guitar line which has become a clich, in blues and rock solo style. This is a D flat sixth arpeggio (D flat-F-A flat-B flat) begun on the third step F. Variations of this melody occur in the styles of almost every blues, rock, country and jazz guitarist. This run is complemented by a descending phrase in the final two bars which provides a nice answer feel to the whole lick. This part includes both the minor and major third steps (F flat and F natural) of the scale and exploits a classic target-tone figure. Here the target is F and is approached by a specific three-note pattern. The melody jumps down from G flat to E and then rises to F to resolve. This little figure is an essential musical cell of the Charlie Christian style. Another noteworthy point is the descending fifth leap at the end of the phrase. The lick is also notable for its boppy animated rhythm feel. The ending notes of each half of the lick are played with a characteristic punctuating rhythm that is a strong identifier of bebop and swing styles.

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

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