Duke Robillard

Lesson >

Route 66


Duke Robillard Lesson >

Route 66 > Solo

This week we're re-issuing one of Duke's most popular lessons: Route 66 Solo.  We've updated the lesson with a full transcription of the solo.  Enjoy.


Hi Folks, 

In this lesson we learn the solo from the original 1946 version of Route 66 by Nat King Cole. I believe the guitarist is Irving Ashby and the solo is a study in swing to bop phrasing on a jazzy blues. I had to work a bit to learn this one myself with it's interesting bop-ish phrasing. It's a very cool solo with some cool twists and turns . Lots of cool riffs over shape one chords and flat 2 for the five substitutions.

Fun stuff indeed!





Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Duke Robillard
Route 66
Nat King Cole
Irving Ashby

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

Background listening:  Nat King Cole 1946: Route 66 with the Irving Ashby Solo

Loop 0:41 Run-Through of Solo


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 1:32 Breakdown of Solo

Loop 10:22 Slow Practice Loop of Solo





Log in to leave a comment

RENE Feb 24, 2022

Hello DUKE, and thank you for this wonderfool lesson about "Route 66". The jazz historians tell it seems to be Johnny Collins who is credited on the 1946 recording of that tune with Nat King Cole. He came after Oscar Moore, and Irvin Ashby. After leaving Nat King Cole, he staid about 14 years with th Bobby Troup band. Thank you again for this lesson. RENE.

Mark Rhodes
Mark Rhodes Dec 29, 2017

Really happy to see this lesson (solo) notated this way. Love the "Route 66" lesson series. 

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Jun 30, 2016

Hey Duke! Continuing to practice this. I feel like my phrasing is coming along so that it's swinging a bit more naturally. Would love to hear any thoughts! Thanks, Bruce


Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 03, 2016

Nice Job Bruce!

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Jun 24, 2016

Hey Duke! Well, I've been working on this one quite a bit. I'd love to hear what you think. Such a classic tune! Thanks, Duke. 

Mark Dec 21, 2012


There is another version of Nat King Cole's Route 66 with a different guitar solo. Here is the link


Can you shed any light as to why it was redone and who is playing the solo ? In general the sound is a bit cleaner and the solo starts off "prettier" without as much bop influence.

Thanks---I loved this lesson !!!

Mark Margolies

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 03, 2016

That is most likely a later version with Irving Ashby playing guitar. In those days it was common for an artist to re-record tunes to update them several years later if they were hits. duke

ramster Dec 14, 2012

It was Oscar Moore.

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Dec 14, 2012

Hello Bop!  This is a fun one Duke, I'm enjoying trying to wrap my head around the bop lines.  They're quite infectious.  I also like that little riff on the V and VI just before the turnaround.  It's going to take me a bit to get it under my fingers (especially the arpeggio) ... and will post a video later in the week.  Thanks !!


Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 03, 2016


Glad you're digging it Mike. Fun stuff indeed!

Login popup sm Login popup banner

Member Log In

Forgot your password? Click here

New To Sonic Junction?

See Sign Up Info >

Popup close
Login popup sm

New To Sonic Junction?

Try 2 Lessons Free

Popup close