Quite often I get asked about using traditional jazz blues guitar lick when improvising.

Developing a good balance of bebop and traditional down home blues licks is essential when learning how to play jazz guitar, especially for those interested in playing like the jazz guitar greats such as Charlie Christian and Kenny Burrell.

Today’s lesson features a cool short blues lick that has been used by countless jazz and blues guitarists that can instantly create a blues feel in a jazz solo or add some great drive to a jump blues solo.

The starting phrase of this lick is a favourite of Charlie Christian who started many of his lines based of root position triads. Check out his solo on ‘Seven Come Eleven’ for an example of this.


Things to Notice in This Lick


  • Use of the Bb triad
  • The use of syncopation to give a ‘driving’ feel to the lick
  • Use of the minor third as a passing note
  • Common swing lick starting pattern : R, m3, M3, 5th, 6th


Bb Jazz Blues Lick

jazz blues guitar lick

Jazz Blues Lick Video


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When you have the lick under your fingers why not see how you can get more mileage from it.

Have you heard this lick before? What are some of your favorite jazz blues licks to play? Share your thoughts in the comment section below

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