Joe Pass Licks

Joe pass was a master of chord melodies, walking bass lines, and melodic counterpoint in his playing. In 1973 he recorded 'Virtuoso', an album that made him famous for solo jazz guitar playing. Joe Pass redefined solo guitar with his complexity of how he connected notes and expanded on simple chords by adding alterations and using many chord inversions. Included below are some chord melody licks, which are just as important to learn as normal licks. "Pass looks like somebody's uncle and can play guitar like nobody's business" - New York Magazine

#1 "How High the Moon" Lick

  • Joe plays the slick in his recording of how"High the Moon".
  • This lick can be played over an F minor chord.
  • I recommend sweep picking the first measure to replicate Joe, and make sure to nail that slide up to the 15th fret.
  • Click here to listen to this lick on YouTube.
Joe Pass Lick

#2 "How High the Moon Lick" #2

  • Here is a second lick from Joe's recording of "How High the Moon".
  • This lick works well over an interlude over a suspended chord.
  • This lick uses the A Dorian mode.
  • Click Here to listen to this lick on YouTube.
Joe Pass Lick

#3 "How High the Moon" Lick #3

  • There is  D pedal point throughout this lick used to build tension.
  • Click here to to listen to this lick on YouTube.
Joe Pass Lick

#4 "How High the Moon" Lick #4

  • This lick is a long one but break it up into pieces to make it easier to learn.
  • Also check out the chord melody lick at the end to add to your chord melody vocabulary.
  • Listen to this lick at 1:56 on the Virtuoso recording.
Joe Pass Lick

#5 "Satin Doll" Lick

  • This lick is in the key of C major.
  • This lick ends with a G minor 11 chord.
  • Click here to listen to this lick on YouTube.
Joe Pass Lick