GEORGE BENSON
Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from George's Jazz

Following on from the rhythm section we will now take that 4 chord jazz piece and learn how to solo over it in a George Benson style. This is all about timing, targeting chord tones and vocal phrasing. Have fun!

Summary: "Benson's Blues"

As always, your first task is to listen and absorb the melodies as much as you can. Remember that this solo is written over the rhythm tracks we studied in the last section, so try to spot which licks are played over which chords. This will massively help you understand them. Run through the track a few times and then tackle the first lesson.

LICK 1: Return of The Octave

This tune is based around Bb, and this lick specifically moves around the chord tones within the Bb major scale. This means that Dion is targeting the root and third notes within Bb (Bb and D) as well as playing the full scale. Alongside this, we use the octave shapes to slide in and out of these notes creating a more jazzy feel.

Materials: The Tab

As we go further through the solo, you'll need to use the tab to nail each lick. In this lesson, we are looking at lick 1 (their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.

LICK 2: Double Stops

For this lick we use double stops to create a quirky sound that eventually leads to the 3rd of Bb7 chord. The double stops are based on the Bb minor pentatonic shape 2 and 1 as well as the chromatic notes. Once again, try to spot the shapes within the chromatic parts!

Materials: The Tab

In this lesson, we are looking at lick 2 (their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping function of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.

Lick 3: The Blues Scale

For lick 3 we return to our favourite blues scale shape 1 to bring in a touch of blues to this jazzy piece. It's always good to remember that, even though we are playing jazz, you can always use your pentatonic and blues scales as a bit of light relief! They will sound great and the listener will appreciate the familiarity of the sounds.

Materials: The Tab

In this lesson, we are looking at lick 3 (their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping function of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.

Lick 4: Arpeggio fun!

For the final lick we return to some cool jazz sounds by playing an Ebm triad over an Ab13. We can do this because the notes in the Ebm triad are the 9th, b7th and 5th of the Ab13 chord, how cool is that! We continue with a different pattern using chromatic notes before settling on the third note of our root chord. This resolves the solo beautifully.

Materials: The Tab

In this lesson, we are looking at lick 4 (the positions are marked just above the tab). Once you master them you'll be able to piece the entire solo together! Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help.

Audio: Backing Track & Audio

When you are ready, the backing track and full solo are here to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Getting The Tone

Chris takes you through all the guitars, amps and pedals we used to get an accurate George Benson tone. With George we would say that 99% of the tone is in the fingers and playing skill, especially as he doesn't use a single pedal!