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Pat Martino Licks

Pat Martino learned how to play superb jazz guitar twice. He emerged in the sixties, releasing his first album 'El Hombre' in 1967.







Pat Martino made a remarkable comeback at the beginning of the eighties. After undergoing brain surgery he had complete amnesia and forgot how to play guitar. It took him years to recover and get back to his old form, partly by listening to his old records. The first record he released after the post amnesia period was 'The Return'.

Pat Martino is one of the greatest players to ever pick up the guitar, and studying his material may seem like a daunting thing to tackle. But, by breaking down his solos into phrases, analyzing those phrases, and taking the underlying concepts to your own playing, you will be able to get that legendary Pat vibe in your solos.


Recommended listening: Live at Yoshi's


Pat Martino Lick 1

The first lick is a V - I minor key phrase that uses the C Harmonic Minor Scale to outline the b9 and b13 intervals over the G7 chord in the progression.

If you want to take this concept further, try putting on a G7-Cm7 backing track and improvise over those changes using the C harmonic minor scale to build your lines and phrases.

If the second chord would be a major chord, change the last note to an 'E natural' in order to resolve it to a Cmaj7 chord rather than a Cm7 chord.


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Guitar Tablature : Pat Martino : Lick 1

Pat Martino Lick 2

This lick uses a simple rhythmic idea, a three-note 8th-note patter, which is repeated to create a syncopated feel throughout the line.

Though it is simple on paper, getting this lick even and repeating is for longer periods can be tough, so go slow, use a metronome, and nail the rhythm for each note in your studies.

Pat used repeated licks to build energy, especially in the drums, and while it may be cliche now, this is still a classic lick that's worth adding to your vocabulary.


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Guitar Tablature : Pat Martino : Lick 3

Pat Martino Lick 3

This minor lick is build around a C major arpeggio, a common substitute for Am7.

Starting maj7 arpeggios in any context, such as this, on the 7th and moving up the R-3-5 from there is a commonly used jazz phrases that you can explore further in the woodshed.


Cmaj7 Over Cmaj7 C E G B
R 3 5 7
Cmaj7 Over Am7 C E G B
b3 5 b7 9


There is also an Em7 arpeggio in the last four notes of the phrase, which highlights the 5-b7-9-11 of the underlying Am7 chord, which is another arpeggio concept you can take from this lick and work it in other keys and over other chords in your studies.


Em7 Over Em7 E G B D
R b3 5 b7
Em7 Over Am7 E G B D
5 b7 9 11



Listen & Play

Guitar Tablature : Pat Martino : Lick 4

Pat Martino Lick 4

This Pat Martino Lick is also build around a C major arpeggio over an Am7 chord.

As well, the opening four notes, 7-R-3-5, is a common arpeggio pattern used by Pat and other jazz legends, and is something that you can extrapolate upon in the woodshed in order to build your jazz guitar vocabulary to the next level.


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Guitar Tablature : Pat Martino : Lick 5

Pat Martino Lick 5

This lick is a real classic that is inspired from the material Pat presented in his jazz guitar book "Linear Expressions." If you are interested in Pat's playing, then owning and studying the soloing concepts in this book is essential.


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Guitar Tablature : Pat Martino : Lick 6




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