3 Essential Major 7th Licks for Guitar
Learning to play over each chord type is an important part of developing a jazz guitar vocabulary.
This article contains five major 7th licks that can be used to improvise over any type of major chord, such as major 7ths, major 9ths, and major 6th chords.
Each of these licks contains a strong major 7th tonality by outlining the guide tones of the chord.
Common jazz rhythmic devices such as syncopation, swung eighth notes, triplets, and motifs are used in each lick.
Major 7th Licks #1
This first major 7th lick is a strong melodic idea that begins with a descending major 7th arpeggio.
You can slide into the first note of the lick from a fret or two to add a bluesy quality to the line.
This line targets the major 7th of the chord by starting with it.
Major 7th Licks #2
The next major 7th phrase is a quirky and melodic line that has been used by jazz guitarists such as George Benson, Joe Pass and Clint Strong.
Harmonically, this entire lick comes from the G major scale. Jazz guitarists often play this line double time feel at medium to slow tempos.
Major 7th Licks #3
Bluesy slides from the major 7th to the 9th of the chord are featured in this phrase giving it a Wes Montgomery type of feel.
Wes often liked to target the 9ths of major 7th chords.
When creating your own major 7th jazz guitar licks, extend your major 7th arpeggios to major 9th arpeggios to get more of that Wes flavour.
I hope that you have enjoyed analysing, playing, and studying each of these major 7th lines and that they bring inspiration to your jazz guitar practice schedule.
What are some of your favorite ways to practice major 7th jazz guitar licks? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Learn 50 Essential Jazz Guitar Licks
Do you want to expand your jazz guitar vocabulary with more great licks such as the 5 in this lesson?
The book comes with audio, tab, notation and text explanations for all 50 licks, plus practice exercises to help you get these important jazz phrases under your fingers, into your ears and into your playing today.
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