Tag Archives: Wes Montgomery

The Windy Blues

20 Aug

I was laying in bed last night talking to my wife’s sister. On the phone.

Then I listened to the Wes Montgomery story on NPR’s Jazz Profiles podcast. The first part of the story features a sound clip of Wes’ version of “Windy” by The Association. I forgot all about my sister-in-law and fell asleep with the melody line in my head.

This morning before work, I grabbed my guitar and played the melody in the key of D. If you start in 5th position, it turns out that melody can be played on the top three strings, all on the same frets. That’s a huge bonus for a lazy guitar player like me.

Since I was in 5th position, I realized the notes in the melody line also fit into the four-chord of the blues in the key of A. By swingin’ the rhythm and adding in a passing tone to the melody, I ended up with a new jazzy-60’s-inspired blues lick.

Here’s a diagram:

Who's peekin' out from under that IV chord? Windy!

I was so excited to discover this little idea (maybe I should talk to my wife’s sister in bed more often), but I quickly realized the limited range of it. It’s not a lick you would want to reuse in every song. It is, however, the kind of lick that’s really hard to get out your head. I’m going on five hours now.