Benson Burner

 by Shawn Patterson

George Benson's fluid, soulful style has contributed to some of the baddest in the business: "Brother" Jack McDuff, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, to mention but a few.

Whether he is playing searing single-note runs, Wes Montgomery-style octaves, or doubling his solos with his golden voice, Benson's playing is always swinging and filled with tons of soul.

In this classic, '60s-era Benson-style lick, it's all about the groove. This greasy, 16th-note-based line is heavily shaded with blues inflections. To capture the essence of classic Benson, try this formula: When playing over a IImi7 chord (in this case, Gmi7), play a major 7 arpeggio built off of the chord's minor third (Bbma7 arpeggio).

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