My first jazz standard: wish me luck

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by P Thought, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    I just realized Adele's mega hit A Million Years Ago is the same progression and melody notes as Autumn Leaves. Same key, she just took AL melody, and rearranged it to write her tune's melody. Coincidence?
    Do you hear Autumn Leaves?

     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  2. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me!

    :lol: I'm a long way from that sort of harmonic knowledge!

    I'm still chipping away at this song. It follows me around all day, no matter what I'm doing it's rolling through my mind, and I need to sit down with this thread and try some experiments.

    I can almost play the first part sort of smoothly now. There's a distinct shift at "Since you went away. . .", with a couple more chords unfamiliar to me, and I haven't even started on that.
     
  3. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I still have to shake myself awake to stop thinking that Em is the same as G, keywise. They share the same scale patterns and key signatures. That B7 chord for me is a reminder that I'm in Em. I'm sure there are other distinctions I'll learn to recognize. . . .
     
  4. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Great thread! It's like a jazz class, I might even print it out for study.

    I see F#m7b5 and I go for 2x221x as a couple of others mentioned...of course other voicings abound, but it's an easy fingering and changes easily into what usually (but by no means always) comes next, a B#7 dominant chord of some kind (try x2121x for a B7b9).

    I had some other notes but BigDaddyLH and others covered things better than I could.

    +1 for getting the Mickey Baker book

    I have an old weekly lesson book written out by my teacher of many years ago, the late Al Turay (D. 2010 a kinda-famous guitarist from Seattle going way back) — it mainly has jazz chord inversions diagrammed out in a logical fashion, plus exercises. I should scan it and post it on this forum. P Thought, would that be useful to you?

    By the way, learning songs this was is a great way to expand your theory understanding and improve technique and so on. I'm into old standards, love making chord/melody arrangements, and Autumn Leaves is harmonically a good choice to start with.


    Edited to correct C#7 to B7!
     
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  5. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    I should have said E minor since it's the same notes, being its "relative minor". To me I do think of it as the same, at least in terms of what notes I have available. If you use that noteset, whatever you want to call it or think of it as, and learn how to weave through the chords as they happen you're in business. Some ii/V licks can help you get more jazzy sounding.
    The B7 is there because V wants to resolve to I or in this case iminor. Minor keys don't have a natural or "diatonic" V7 so they will take the vminor chord and make it a dominant 7 to give the pull toward the i minor chord.
    It's pretty common to have a dominant 7 chord which may not be "diatonic" or part of the key because it is there to pull or resolve toward a particular chord. Just as often you might have a ii/V used in the same way, with the V "resolving" down a perfect fifth to a target chord. You can even set up a pattern where it goes ii/V down a fifth to another ii/V and so on. Or the bridge of "Rhythm Changes" just cycling through V7 chords down a fifth, down a fifth, until it finally lands back on you I chord of the song. So those chords aren't "diatonic" to the key, but the pattern makes musical sense because of this tendency of a dom7 chord to resolve down a fifth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  6. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    That first fingering mistake in the OP — 245322 (totally not F#7m5, as noted) — is like a dominant F#7 chord (no 7th here...add it where you can) with a flat9...depending on the context it often makes a great V chord, leading back to the root chord. Very jazzy, adds tension, a little 'outside' with that low flat 9 in there.
     
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  7. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Here are a few crazy cool ways to harmonize the first phrase, ala Mick Goodrick,

    ----------------------8----|----------------------8
    -5-----7-----8----10---|-5-----7-----8----10
    -7-----9---11----11---|---------------------11
    -7-----9---10-----------|------------------------
    ----------------------------|------------------------
    ----------------------------|------------------------

    ---------------------8----|---------------------8
    -5-----7-----8----8----|-5-----7-----8------
    -4-----5-----7----7----|---------------------7
    -4-----5-----7----------|-4-----5-----7------
    ---------------------------|-----------------------
    ---------------------------|-----------------------

    ---------------------8----|---------------------8
    -5-----7-----8----7----|-5-----7-----8------
    -4-----5-----7----9----|---------------------9
    -7-----9----10---------|-7-----9----10-----
    ---------------------------|-----------------------
    ---------------------------|-----------------------

    ---------------------8----|---------------------8
    -5-----7-----8---10---|-5-----7-----8--10
    -5-----7-----9---12---|-5-----7-----9------
    -7-----9----10---------|-----------------------
    ---------------------------|-----------------------
    ---------------------------|-----------------------

    ---------------------8
    -5-----7-----8---10
    -7-----9----11---9----------???
    -4-----7-----9-------
    ------------------------
    ------------------------
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  8. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo TDPRI Member

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    I am kind of a hack jazz player. Playing more by ear than anything else. I can site read a chart for chords in real time but not read a melody line in real time. I learned to play jazz standards by playing for decades with guys who were way better than me; mostly organists and other guitar players. For the longest time it was a lot of work just to keep up playing standards. But like anything, practice and patience brings improvement and confidence.

    Don't take the fakebook too literally; it is just a sketch...make it your own but stay in the bag of who you are playing with so the song sounds good.

    I agree with earlier posts that suggest using smaller chords is beneficial. To me that often means 3 and 4 note chords. Sometimes omitting the 1 (and / or the 5) of the chord and focusing on the 3, 7, 6 and 9 of the chord a bit more at times. (Maybe add the 5 if it is flat).

    Another other thing that I learned with soloing is that often enough a "short blues line" can "fit in with sonic elegance" and be a nice thing. Other tips: often you can say more by playing a bit less...space can be a good thing. And you can never be to good at keeping time. The more people you play with the better you will become at keeping time.
     
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  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    You gotta walk before you can run. Find a way, any way, to play the chords. Then start working on different fingerings, inversions, substitutions, whatever.
    But the first thing to do is just get through it, hook or by crook.

    Similarly, learn the melody, somehow, somewhere on the neck, whatever works for you. Once you know the chords and have the melody down pat you have
    a great start. You can sit in on this song and sound OK at this point. Now you can spend hours, weeks, months, or years working on the song and developing
    a much more nuanced, deep interpretation of it. But push comes to shove if you can play the chords and play the melody you can play the song.
     
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  10. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Your post pretty well describes my approach to this song. It's a beginning for me. One thing that's helping me a lot is that I have the five diatonic/pentatonic CAGED scale patterns pretty well under my fingers, so I can stay in the same key and play anywhere on the neck, especially if I'm in a key as familiar to me as G/Em is. I'm enjoying finding the melody lines in various places. Also, the new chord fingerings, with their flatted notes, 7s, 9s, and so on, will help me toward having a better handle on chord spellings, and on knowing the notes on the fretboard and the intervals of the notes within the scale patterns.

    When I get this song singable, I'll look forward to choosing another one: there are 600-some-odd songs in my fake book!
     
  11. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    The point I'm making is you can mix any notes in the scale, they don't have to be chord tones, just the tones of the key.

    Imo this says relax, just know the scale and fretboard well abd trust that the harmonic message will get conveyed regardless of note pairings, harmony beyond chord tones.
     
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  12. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    I realize I'm kinda late to this party but this is what I give to guitar students who are intermediate and delving into jazz. *The tune is played most often in Bb ...

    autumn_leaves_voicings.jpeg

    The 'ground zero' jazz interpretation of this is the Cannonball Adderley/Miles Davis version from the 1958 Blue Note album "Somethin Else". It has a long intro. Tune starts at 0:51 ...

     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  13. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    That decending minor tritone sub thing is cool, it's not in The Real Book chart but I think Chuck Sher's Real Book version has those changes.

    Good points.
     
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  14. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Listen to Sting do Moon over Bourbon Street.

    Great thread P. Thought and I want to learn this now.
     
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  15. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Progress report:

    I know that to many of you, especially the professional musicians among you, this will seem ridiculous, but I'm still working on this song. In fact, all along I've been working only on the first half (It shifts at "Since you went away"), and I'm saving that last part for later--I might need help again with a couple fingerings*--after I can do the first part smoothly. I've been playing it on all my guitars, acoustic and electric. I've also been working with solos in all the CAGED-style scale positions, and my improvising is improving. . . !

    What prompted this progress report is that this morning for the first time I started singing along with myself on the first part. I've had the words down for a long time, but all my singing so far has been independent of guitar, often while I'm driving, sometimes with Bob Dylan. It went pretty well with the guitar today.

    This is a good song, and I'm pretty excited at having my own rendition of it. I'm hoping to end up with something nice. I'll sing this through until it's smooth, then it will be time to start work on the rest of the song. (@klasaine, after that I might work on a Bb version, and P.S. @BigDaddyLH I know your earlier post contains a semester's work. I've only delayed it: I still mean to attack it.)


    * Remember my "fake book" doesn't show chord fingerings. Anyone who wants to check my chords (I might have the notes wrong) or offer different fingerings, the "new guys" in the second section are:

    E7b9—x76767

    B7b9—x21212

    C#m7b5—x45457
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  16. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    You can omit the high E string on all of those IMHO. For altered dominants it sounds a little odd to my ears to have a b9 and a 5th against each other. For the c#-7b5, you don't need the high B, because you are already getting the B on the 3rd string.

    Best advice so far has been to work just on 3rds and 7ths and then expand from there. Don't make yourself do too much.

    ...and relax, you'll get it, we've all been there!
     
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  17. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    Yea those are standard fingerings for those chords if you drop the high E string notes.
    Don't worry about taking lots of time to work on it, that's a good thing!
     
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  18. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    I constantly "re-visit" the standards. I always find or notice something I missed before.
     
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