Jim Hall’s “Bemsha Swing” Solo

by | Jazz Improvisation, Jim Hall

In this video lesson I teach a great solo by one of my all time favorite guitarists…Jim Hall! It’s off a 16 bar blues by Thelonious Monk entitled, Bemsha Swing.

After playing the solo at tempo, I then teach it to you slowly, and explain what is going on measure by measure. In case you’re not yet aware of it, this analysis should demonstrate why Jim Hall is considered by many, the “Father of Modern Jazz”.

This solo contains the essence of post-bop jazz guitar and the melodic concepts therein can be found in the playing of many present day greats who claim they have been influenced by Hall. Among them, John Scofield, Bill Frissel, Pat Metheny, the late John Abercrombie, and dozens more!

After a detailed analysis of the solo, I show you the benefits of studying it, even if you can’t play it at tempo. In doing so, I show you how I extract various concepts Hall uses here, and I demonstrate how I employ them not necessarily “note per note”, but instead “conceptually” in my own improvisation of Bemsha Swing.

PDF & AUDIO DOWNLOAD:

The Bemsha Swing Files can be downloaded for $5.00 (buy me a cup of coffee and a snack?). Your contribution is much appreciated, as it helps support the site and allows me to keep investing the long hours required to produce these lessons. The download includes: a PDF of the transcription with both regular notation and TAB, a PDF of the leadsheet, MP3s of the transcribed solo and the backing track, a Band In A Box file featuring the solo and rhythm section, and a MIDI file of the solo.

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