3 Kenny Burrell Style Licks

This week’s licks are a great example in getting a nice Jazz sound without having to know complicated chords or scales – in other words, a great intro to the world of Jazz guitar. The licks use the humble D Minor Pentatonic Scale and D Blues Scale, with the Dorian Mode for some of the double stops (the note from the Dorian Mode is at fret 12 of the B string). The backing track is a Dm7-G13 vamp.

Kenny’s Jazz playing is relaxed, swinging, and strongly rooted in the Blues. Players as diverse as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Pat Metheny have acknowledged his influence on their musical growth, so you can’t do wrong in learning his style!

Here’s a lick by lick breakdown:

Lick 1

We’re only using the D Minor Pentatonic Scale here, starting with a strong opening phrase in position one before finishing up in position two – simple but effective.

Lick 2

This lick uses double stops in thirds from the Dorian Mode, moving to a triplet run down the D Blues Scale.

Lick 3

Starting with the D Minor Pentatonic, followed by double stops from the Dorian Mode, finishing off with some hammers and pull-offs from the Blues Scale.


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!

Watch the video:

Play along with the backing track:

Read the tab:

3 Kenny Burrell Style Licks


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