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10 easy Wes Montgomery jazz guitar licks / transcriptions | Dominant 7th


Wes Montgomery jazz guitar licks lessonsWes Montgomery was an american guitar jazz player, considered as one of the greatest jazz guitarist of all time. He has influenced and influence again a lot of jazz guitarists. His playing is characterized by the use of his thumb instead of a pick with incredible dexterity. His guitar solos are gold mines for jazz guitar students.

He often approached his guitar solos by following the same chords progression in three ways and in the same order:

  1. In single note lines using arpeggios, scales and modes.
  2. By playing octaves.
  3. By playing block chords.

Wes Montgomery played almost exclusively on a Gibson L-5 CES plugged most of the time into Fender amps (super reverb, twin reverb, deluxe). He also played on Gibson L-7, Gibson L-4, Es-175, ES-125D.

You will find in this free jazz guitar lesson 10 easy dominant 7th jazz guitar licks with tabs transcribed from "West coast blues". They are all in the key of Bb and time signature is 3/4.


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Lick # 1

This lick is made up of the Bb mixoblues scale. The mixolydian blues scale, also known as "mixo blues scale", is constructed with notes of the blues scale and the mixolydian scale. It is the mixolydian mode including a minor third and a flat fifth (blue note). It is used to over dominant 7th chords (7, 9,#9, 7sus4, 13, 7b5, 7#11, 13th). Here is a George Benson line that use the mixoblues scale

Wes montgomery dominant jazz guitar lick 1

Lick # 2 

It is simply the G phrygian mode (G-Ab-Bb-C-D-Eb-F). This mode has the same notes as the Bb mixolydian scale. You can also think it as the mixolydian mode starting with the sixth (G)

Wes montgomery dominant licks 2 bis page 2

Lick # 3 

Bb dominant bebop scale for this one ending with a C descending diminished triad (Gb-Eb-C). Note that the dominant bebop scale is an octotonic scale (eight notes) widely played in jazz music. This scale in comparison with the dominant scale has an additional note (major seventh) between the minor seventh (b7) and the root.

Wes montgomery dominant licks 3 page 1 bis

Lick # 4 

This one starts with a Ab major triad (Ab-C -Eb). 

Wes montgomery dominant licks 4 page 1 bis

Lick # 5

It starts with a Bb major 6 arpeggio (Ab-D-F-G) and continues with notes from the Bb mixolydian scale. Note the presence of a minor third (Db) before playing the major third (D) with a hammer-on.

Wes montgomery dominant licks 5 page 1 bis

Lick # 6 

Bb Mixolydian mode (Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab) with a passing tone (E) between F and Eb.

Wes montgomery dominant licks 6 page 1 bis

Lick # 7

This easy and short guitar lick is made up of 3 notes corresponding of the three notes of the Bb major chord (Bb, D, F). It starts with the Bb chord (Bb, D, & F) and goes on with a Bb triad (Bb, D & F again). You can hear that the major third (D) is approached chromatically by the minor third (Eb). Wes Montgomery plays this line at 2mn22 in "Wes coast blues".

Wes montgomery dominant licks 7 page 1 bis

Lick # 8

Bb dominant scale (mixolydian mode) again. Starting on the sixth (G) ending on the fifth (F).

Wes montgomery dominant licks 8 bis page 1

Lick # 9

Wes Montgomery was a master of octaves playing. This technique consists of playing two notes (octaves) at the same time. 

Wes montgomery dominant licks 9 page 1 bis

Lick # 10

This last one is constructed with the Bb mixolydian scale

Wes montgomery dominant licks 10 bis page 1



MIXOLYDIAN MODE | Guitar diagrams & scales charts.

DOMINANT BEBOP SCALES | Guitar diagrams & scales charts








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