ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jazz Guitar Licks: Charlie Christian Lick #2

Updated on May 20, 2013

Charlie Christian

I personally enjoyed researching and transcribing the first Charlie Christian lick I featured, and I decided further study his style, and to move along and transcribe a few more of his licks.

The lick featured in this article is also a 2-5-1 in Ab. This is the first lick he plays in his solo. It is always a good idea to start a solo on a good, ear-catching idea, to really grab the listener's attention, to make them understand that what is coming will rock their socks, if they only pay attention.

I will describe the line and post tablatures below, but for now, here's the lick:

Jazz Guitar Lick: Charlie Christian Lick #2


What makes this lick sound good?

The first thing that I notice about this lick, is that although it is used over a 2-5-1 chord progression, it pretty much is a 1-chord lick over Ab. By that, I mean that if the chords played behind the solo had just been Ab the whole time (without Bb-7 or Eb7), it would have sounded great. The purpose of playing such a lick at the beginning of the solo might be to "ground" the listener's ears in the Ab key.

Specifically, the lick is solidly grounded in Ab major pentatonic, which is comprised of the notes Ab, Bb, C, Eb, F. I think of major pentatonic as a major triad arpeggio (Ab, C, Eb), to which you add the 2nd and 6th tone scales (Bb, F). In fact, the only two notes used in this lick that are not part of this scale are there to make it all sound "bluesy". These two notes are Gb, which acts as the minor 7th of Ab, and the B natural, used as a "lead-in" note to the third of the Ab chord, which is C. The use of the minor 7th makes it sound like a dominant chord, Ab7.

B natural is the sharp 9 of Ab7. Pay close attention to how the sharp 9 note is followed by the major 3rd of Ab. You will see the sharp 9 followed by the 3rd in countless situations, and the reason for that is that it sounds so good! Anytime you practice a major arpeggio, try to stick the sharp nine before the major 3rd. It will always be a half-step lower than the 3rd, thus, one fret lower. Try to do slide in's, hammer-on's, etc.

So, to recapitulate:

  • major pentatonic arpeggio of the 1-chord used over the 2-5-1 progression
  • Gb note (minor 7th of Ab) to make it sound like an Ab7
  • sharp 9 to major 3rd idea (B natural --> C note)

If anyone spots anything else, feel free to comment and let us know!

R. Seymour Cole


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)