Magazine article Guitar Player

How to Play like ... Grant Green

Magazine article Guitar Player

How to Play like ... Grant Green

Article excerpt

If those tried-and-true blues licks are starting to get a little stale, then it's high time you got hip by adding a jazzy color to your sound. I recommend a healthy dose of green--Grant Green, that is. He was one of the hardest-swinging soul-jazz cats of his era. During the first hall of the '60s, he waxed some 50-plus sessions for Blue Note as both a leader and sideman. His smooth, syncopated lines seemed to dance atop the changes, melding bebop's sophisticated harmonic edge with the earthy, soulful moans of the blues.

Let's start with the Green-style, hipster turnaround riff in Ex. 1, which begins on bar 9 of a swingin' 12-bar blues in B[??]. (The B[??]7 chord at the end of the lick marks the beginning of the next cycle.) First, play through the chords to get the sound of the progression in your ears. (Reference grids are provided in case you're not sure how to finger these harmonies). …

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