Pat Martino jazz guitar solo transcription with tabs on sunny (4 bars) - Part 1

This lesson is focused on 4 measures of Pat Martino's guitar improvisation on Sunny (Bobby Hebb), taken from the Umbria jazz live version with John Scofield (guitar), Joey DeFranscesco (Hammond) and Byron Landham (drums). You can listen to it at 1:16 in the original video below.

Before learning Pat Martino's line it is important to understand the function of the chords in the four first bars. As you can see, Gm7 | C7 | FM7 is a II-V-I progression in the key of F major and Bm7 | E7 | is a II | V sequence resolving to A minor. In that case you can even think Bm7 as Bm7b5.

Here is the entire original chord progression :

Am7 | Gm7 C7 | FM7 | Bm7(b5) E7 | 

Am7 | Gm7 C7 | FM7 | Bm7(b5) E7 | 

Am7 | Gm7 C7 | FM7 | Bb7 | 

Bm7b5 | E7#9 | Am7 | E7#9 |

Pat Martino's lick analysis

In the first measure Pat Martino plays notes from the A Dorian mode (A-B-C-D-E-F-G), specifically an A minor triad (A-C-E). It is  good to remember that a minor triad is made up of a root (1), a minor third (b3) and a perfect fifth (5). In the measure 2, he plays notes from the G aeolian mode (G-A-B-C-D-Eb-F)characterised by the presence of Eb which is the minor sixth of this mode. Notice that the difference between the dorian and the aeolian mode is that the sixth is major in the dorian mode and minor in the aeolian mode. These two modes can be applied to any minor chords. In measure 3, you will notice an A minor seventh arpeggio (A-C-E-G) over FM7. Minor seventh arpeggios are built with the first (1), the minor third (b3), the fifth (5) and the minor seventh (b7).  In measure 4 (II-V), there are notes from the B locrian mode (B-C-D-E-F-G-A) with an approached  tone, the #9 (Eb).

Pat martino jazz guitar lick on sunny

PAT MARTINO | Sunny transcription part 2

Other analysis

Here are some other ideas to extend your guitar improvisation on sunny :

  • A dorian mode (A-B-C-D-E-F-G) over Am7.
  • Over Gm7 and C7, G dorian (G-A-Bb-C-D-E-F) or E mixolydian (E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D) with why note some altered notes (b9, #9, b13 and #11) which resolves to a note of FM7, namely the 3rd or the 7th.
  • F ionian  (F-G-A-Bb-C-D-E) over FM7. B locrian over Bm7(b5) and E altered (E-F-G-Ab-Gb-C-D) or even Ab diminished 7th arpeggio (Ab-B-D-F) over E7. 
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Last edited: 06/03/2017


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