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Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Sam


Soul Jazz Double Stop Licks

Double Stop Licks Soul JazzSoul jazz guitarists usually combine the vocabulary of blues and jazz guitar.   One of the techniques they use is playing solos with double stops.  In this lesson we are going to look at some double stop licks by Grant Green, Pat Martino, and Kenny Burrell.

Double Stop Harmony

There are a few harmonic ideas that come up over and over in these players’ use of double stops.   One is playing the fifth and flatted 7th together, which we’ll see in several licks here.  Grant Green uses fifths often, especially in his later work.

Grant Green Double Stop Licks

Grant Green played some of the most memorable solos in the history of soul jazz.  His live albums at the end of his career have been extremely influential with many guitarists.  We’re going to look at two licks from the song “Sookie Sookie” from his Alive album recorded in 1970.

Double stops can be used in two ways.  In lick 1, Green uses a double stop to punctuate the end of a line.  He plays a line in F pentatonic, plays the scale down to the root and then ends the line with the fifth and flatted 7th double stop.  This lick is over an Fmi7 chord.

Double Stop Licks

Lick two uses the double stop in the same way, but this time it’s a fifth from the root up to the fifth.

Double Stop Licks

Pat Martino Double Stop Licks

Pat Martino is a master of the jazz organ trio format.  His first album as a leader, El Hombre, is considered by many to be a top five album in jazz guitar history.  This lick comes from his solo on “Just Friends.”  He uses a pedal tone in this one, keeping the root of the song on the top and moving between the third and fourth of the key in the bottom note.

Double Stop Licks

The second Martino lick comes from his more recent album, Live at Yoshi’s.  Here Martino uses the double stop as the main part of the line.  He plays a repeating double stop of the fifth and root, and ends the line with a minor pentatonic line.  This lick is all over a Cmi7 chord.

Double Stop Licks

Kenny Burrell Double Stop Licks

Kenny Burrell did a lot to define the organ jazz sound playing with Jimmy Smith on many of Smith’s landmark recordings.  We’ve looked at some of Kenny Burrell’s playing before, so check out the Kenny Burrell lesson for a few more KB licks.  In this lick, Kenny Burrell uses the double stops to accentuate the high point of the line.  He’s playing in F pentatonic over an F7, and uses the fifth to flatted 7th double stop at the top of the line.

Double Stop Licks

I hope you can find some places to use these licks.  They can definitely be played outside of the organ trio or funky jazz setting.  Guitarists like Wes Montgomery, and the ones we looked at above find places to use these licks in many different instances.

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4 Responses to Soul Jazz Double Stop Licks

  1. Pingback: Soul Jazz Lesson

  2. Dan says:

    Excellent lesson! Learned some great sounding lines and enjoyed doing it. Would love to see more of this style lines!

    • Sam says:

      Awesome Dan- thanks! Check out this week’s lesson on Repeating Soul Jazz licks. I’ll keep adding more like this!

  3. Pingback: Soul Jazz - Repeating Licks - Sam Smiley Music

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