For Latin we’re thinking essentially nylon-string samba and bossa nova. Using jazz chord vocabulary and beautiful ‘voice-leading’ chord sequences, the leading lights in Latin guitar include Antonio Carlos Jobim and Jiao Gilberto.


Ex 1: The first lick is a rhythm pattern in the style of the father of Bossa Nova: Antonio Carlos Jobim. It’s a fingerstyle piece and should be played on the nylon string or acoustic guitar. This lick will work as a backing track for the following licks.

Ex 2: This lick is in the style of Earl Klugh and it’s played on the acoustic guitar. Over the first chord he uses a chromatic approach that leads him to the #9 of the G7. Then he plays the G7 arpeggio and uses the b6 (Aeolian mode) of the Im7 chord to create that ‘sad’ feel. Also, a heavy and laid back feel is required.

Ex 3: Another lick in the style of George Benson. This one shows his incredible approach to arpeggios and his incredible melodic sense. The lick lands on the 9th of the Im7 chord which is a typical and traditional tool.

Ex 4: This lick is in the style of one of the most interesting Contemporary Jazz players: Bill Frisell. One of the trademarks of Bill Frisell is the use of clusters of closely spaced notes. Let the notes ring as much as possible.

Ex 5: Another lick in the style of Pat Metheny and another trademark! It’s built using a kind of arpeggio featuring 5th and 2nd intervals and he moves that shape up and down to the fret board, changing the notes when the harmony changes. Incredible!


GT132 – 50 Licks To Go
text & transcriptions
full band & backing tracks
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