4 Larry Carlton Style Licks

This week we’re looking at some Larry Carlton style licks. As a young guitarist, Larry was influenced by Jazz players such as Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, and Joe Pass. There’s some interesting things going on with each lick, so let’s analyse:

Lick 1

Played over G7, this lick centres on the root note (B string, 8th fret), but features the 13th (E) and a chromatic walk up to the 3rd (B), with a blues lick down the G7 arpeggio.

Lick 2

Also over G7, the first bar stresses the Mixolydian mode, using the flat 7th, 13th, and 5th notes, followed by a blues lick going up the major pentatonic (bar 2), and a tasty blues phrase from G minor Pentatonic (bar 3).

Lick 3

Here we change to Bb7 for a more Jazz inspired Mixolydian lick that moves up through the Bb and Ab major triads before moving up through the Mixolydian mode.

Lick 4

Back to G7 for a triplet-heavy lick based on the G major Pentatonic, which is the backbone of the G Mixolydian mode. Note how the shape is the same as an E minor position 1 Pentatonic.


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:

4 Larry Carlton Style Licks

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