Category Archives for Jazz Standards

Jazz Standards – My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine is a popular standard from 1937 written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

My Funny Valentine chords

Miles Davis

Jim Hall and Bill Evans

Jim Hall My Funny Valentine transcription

I wrote a My Funny Valentine chord melody arrangement.

I always like these

My Funny Valentine backing track

Jazz Standards – ‘Round Midnight

‘Round Midnight was created by Thelonious Monk in 1944 and is a very popular standard (ballad). If you want to learn to play jazz guitar this will be one of the common standards you play at gigs.

‘Round Midnight chords / lead sheet. As usual the chords can vary widely in different recordings and lead sheets/fake books. Here is a discussion of some alternative harmonic approaches along with a Wes Montgomery Round Midnight chord solo transcription by Steve Khan.


Wes Montgomery Round Midnight transcription

Howard Morgen’s version from ‘Through Chord-Melody and Beyond’

My ‘Round Midnight chord melody arrangement

If you haven’t seen the Lick By Neck site and software you need to check this out. He’s got a ton of arrangements.

‘Round Midnight backing track video

Chord Melody – All The Things You Are

Here’s a sample of the chord melody. Play the chords from the grid and note the melody below and you have the chord melody! For a PDF of the full song please purchase it below the image.

All the Things You Are

Jazz Standards – Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves is a popular jazz standards and is probably one of the easiest songs to get started with if you want to learn to play jazz guitar.

It was written by Joseph Kosma, with English lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

The song is in the key of E minor and of course can be played in other keys such as Gm. Here are the Autumn Leaves chords and melody.

Amazing performance by Ted Greene

I post a lot of non-guitar performances like sax and piano as I find them really melodic

Autumn Leaves Stan Getz transcription

Autumn Leaves Bill Evans transcription

Here is my Autumn Leaves chord melody arrangement.

Here are the Autumn Leaves arpeggios in 5th fret area.

Autumn Leaves Backing track (video)

Jazz Standards – Stella By Starlight

Stella By Starlight is a jazz standard and ballad written by Victor Young.

Here’s the Stella By Starlight lead sheet.

Here’s a Stella By Starlight chord melody arrangement I created.

Stella By Starlight backing track (video)

Jazz Standards – Body and Soul

Body and Soul is a popular jazz standard and is a ballad.

Here’s the Body and Soul lead sheet.

My favourite performance is Chris Potter

Here’s the Body and Soul Chris Potter transcription.

I really like this solo by Greg Fishman over the Body and Soul progression – he calls is Wabash Avenue. You can hear a sample over at Amazon.

Here is a Body and Soul chord melody I composed.

Here are Body and Soul arpeggios.

Here’s the Body and Soul backing track (video) for play along.

Jazz Standards – Blue Bossa

Blue Bossa Chords

Blue Bossa was written by Kenny Dorham.

Pat Martino

Blue Bossa Pat Martino transcription

Blue Bossa Kenny Burrell (can’t embed)

Blue Bossa Dexter Gordon transcription (Cm 2 choruses)
Notice the use of approach arpeggios in the 2nd measure of the above transcription – G7 arpeggio descending from the 5th.

Blue Bossa Dexter Gordon transcription (Dm – for sax)

Backing track video

You might also be interested in the Blue Bossa chord melody I did. I also wrote out a simple Blue Bossa jazz guitar solo. And here’s a video I did performing a Blue Bossa jazz guitar solo by Robert Conti.

Blue Bossa is a popular jazz standard and a great tune to learn for beginners. It was written by Kenny Dorham and performed on Joe Henderson’s album ‘Page One’, shown above in the video.

Blue Bossa has two keys making it one of the easier standards to play. It starts out in C minor (Eb relative major) and then modulates to Db major, and finally back to C minor. From a major key perspective there are just 2 keys: Eb and Db major.

I did a Blue Bossa guitar study you can check out.

If we build chords from C natural minor scale, the G chord would be Gm7 however since it’s the 5th note of the scale it is usually changed to a dominant 7 chord. This leads to stronger resolution from G7 to Cm and changes the Bb in Gm7 to B in G7. The original Gm7 would’ve taken the G phrygian scale so by changing just the Bb to B, it turns into Phrygian dominant. Of course dominant chords can take a variety of scales but this would be the first choice.

So the basic scales to use over the chord progression to Blue Bossa would be:
Cm – C Aeolian (try C melodic minor)
Fm7 – F Dorian
Dm7b5 – D Locrian
G7b9 – G Phrygian Dominant (or other altered dominant scales)
Eb-7 – Eb Dorian
Ab7 – Ab Mixolydian (or various altered scales as per any dominant chord).
Dbma7 – Db Ionian

When the minor chord is acting as a i chord as it is in this case, we can alternative play a C melodic minor. This gives us the A and B notes instead of Ab and Bb. This is quite a nice sound, see if you can find melodic phrases out there, or invent your own. You can get great sounds by mixing up the scale that you won’t hear by just playing the scale up and down.

Jazz Standards – All of Me

All of Me Lead Sheet

George Benson – George sings and comps but Ronnie Cuber plays a bari sax solo

Ronnie Cuber sax solo transcription

Lester Young & Teddy Wilson

All of Me Transcription – Lester Young

I actually really enjoyed this guy’s melodic sax phrasing on YouTube so check it out

All of Me – Backing Track

Here is my All of Me Bebop scales exercise and lesson

Jazz Standards – All Blues

All Blues is a blues tune in 6/8 and was written by Miles Davis on his Kind of Blue album back in 1959. Other musicians included Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers and Wynton Kelly (on one track). This album is one of the most popular jazz albums of all time and is often suggested as a starting point for people getting into jazz.

All Blues Lead Sheet All Blues Chords

Original recording:

Here is Cannonball Adderley’s All Blues solo transcription

Other versions:

Full transcription (no tab) George Benson All Blues Transcription
Partial George Benson All Blues transcription (tab)

Kenny Burrell (live)

Play along / Backing Track

What are your favourite performances and transcriptions of All Blues? Post them in the comments below.