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  • Brett Stine

"Martino / Holdsworth Style Line"

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

This melodic line represents an attempt at incorporating some modern "Holdsworth" language into a more straight-ahead type context i.e., clean jazz guitar line playing. It is a combination of more traditional "Martino" style playing mixed with more modern "Holdsworth" style playing, including the fingerings each would use. These are two of my biggest influences, and I have studied and analyzed them both extensively.


This line wasn't planned out; I was improvising, trying to weave in and out of things I have learned from both of them. The chord this line is played over is a "Dm9" chord. This line is a good example of how various scales and harmonies can be used to create "Language" rather than just thinking about a particular scale, like "Dorian," for example. In a situation like this, Dorian can be a rather vanilla choice, not that it can't be cool if your phrasing, time, and sense of melody are strong. I tried to outline what was happening via the notation above the line itself. So I won't go into too much detail here. One symbol that I should make a note of is (P.T.) P.T. = "Passing Tone". The rest should be pretty self-explanatory.


I do want to point out that a lot is happening harmonically here. The line weaves in and out of various scales and chord changes. I started by just thinking "Dm7" then side slipping into "Dbm7," "G7," "D7," and "Ab7," while utilizing various modes, some of the scales, and modes you should look for while playing through this line would be:


"G7 Be-Bop Scale"

"D Dorian"

"D Melodic Minor"

"Eb Harmonic Minor" and

"Db Pentatonic"


I recommend playing this slowly, paying attention to how all of this is being mixed together against the "Dm9" chord. I hope you fun with this one. Peace.






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