Not only is George Benson a great singer, but he’s also a world class guitarist. Influenced by Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, and Grant Green, he plays Blues, Funk, and Jazz with equal virtuosity. His Jazz playing always features a strong groove coupled with great bebop phrasing.
These 3 licks can all be played over Cm7 or F7. Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on with each lick:
This opening lick starts with syncopated F7 Arpeggio work before moving down the F Mixolydian scale using bebop phrasing.
This one starts by nimbly moving from an F Minor Pentatonic Scale into cascading sixths intervals in F Mixolydian. This movement is ‘answered’ by a typical bebop phrase.
The final lick starts with a typical blues motif using a Dm7b5 Arpeggio (D, F, Ab, C… which can also be interpreted as Fm6). In the middle there’s a bit of the F Blues Scale for the trill, before continuing to the final double-stop bend. The last section uses more bebop phrasing in F Mixolydian.
As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!
Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!