In today’s lesson, we are going to be checking how to play a Kenny Burrell chord solo. Regular readers of Jamie Holroyd Guitar will know how keen I am on including practical etudes and examples of the chords you learn in this comping jazz guitar series. One of the best ways to develop our jazz guitar skills is by transcribing and checking out what the greats played.

Therefore as a follow up to an earlier article I wrote in the series about creating chord solo’s, I have created a lesson on how to play a Kenny Burrell Chord Solo. Blues drenched and bebop guitar playing are the most known traits of Kenny Burrell’s guitar playing, but his playing features fantastic big band like percussive chord work. This etude is typical of Kenny’s chordal style, and like many of the examples in this series, is over a 12 bar blues progression.



Things to Notice in This Chord Solo


  • Use of b5 substition dominant chord before in bar 1 and else where throughout the piece
  • Use of b5 substition dominant chord (E7) before Eb7 in bar 2 and throughout the piece
  • Movable dominant 7th b9 shape in bar 10
  • Same dominant 7th chord shape moved down a fret in bars 7 and 8
  • Use of same rhythms to create an effective big band like sound


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