10 dominant Wes Montgomery jazz guitar licks | Lesson with tabs & analysis

This lesson is about 10 dominant 7th jazz guitar licks played by the great Wes Montgomery in "West coast blues". 

Lick # 1

This lick is built with notes 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

Lick # 3

Bb dominant bebop scale for this one ending with a C descending diminished triad (Gb-Eb-C). Notice 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

Lick # 4

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

Wes montgomery dominant licks 4

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

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

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

Lick # 8

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

Wes montgomery dominant licks 8

Lick # 9

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

Wes montgomery dominant licks 9

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Last edited: 06/11/2016


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