So here's a version of Airegin by West Montgomery :D
This song is really seriously fast, and according to its original lead sheet the tempo in which this song is played is 232bpm. Its really challenging to be soloing chord changes to this song and by strumming the chords too at every downbeat if you're playing it gypsy jazz style.
Well, according to my teacher, sometimes if its really too fast, of course you can strum it alternating between upstrokes & downstrokes but remember that every chord has to be properly muted after hitting it for that classic gypsy jazz comping style. So, work on cleanliness of the notes.
Also, work on making both the downstroke and upstroke sound the same, because for anyone just starting out, there is definitely inconsistency in the attack between the strokes - one may sound louder than the other, or has more punch than the other. So practice till when people hear it, they can't distinguish whether it's an upstroke or downstroke. Lesson here = consistency.
And so, I asked my teacher another question "So what if you have to play this song at this tempo at a gig tonight and you really don't have enough time to practice and improve on the chord changes already and that you find the song really really difficult and challenging to solo to the changes ?"
Well, my teacher replied by saying that if you find the song too fast to cope with the changes, you just have to settle with just highlighting the basic chord changes. Guide tones at certain parts will do. The note values can be big, it doesn't matter, if you can't cope soloing 16th notes or 8th notes or even quarter notes to the changes, then by all means stick to half notes and full notes. Really it doesn't matter that you are not playing your 16th notes like you used to, but full notes is alright and sounds jazzy enough if you know which notes to use and play.
Wow, I found that enlightening, do you ? :D
And now, for those of you who want to learn the melody of the song or the chord progression of the song, here is my Tab for you guys, chords and melody in one :D Have fun playing this awesome song !
So guys, if you are going to solo to the changes to this song you have to know the arpeggios to the chords of the song. I thought I would just list out the chord tones of the chords to the song so that it can make things easier for you if you may be slightly theory-weak in this aspect. I would assume that once you know the chord tones, you can figure out the arpeggios on your guitar so I won't be tabbing the arpeggios. Figure it out yourself and it will get easier and easier :D
Here we go
First 4 bars of section A
Fm F Ab C
C7(#9, b5) C D# E Gb Bb
F7 F A C Eb
Bbm7 Bb Db F Ab
Last 4 bars of section A
F7(#9, #5) F G# A C# Eb
First 4 bars of section B
Dm7 D F A C
G7 G B D F
Cmaj7 C E G B
C#m7 C# E G# B
F#7 F# A# C# E
Last bar of section B
Gm7(b5) G Bb Db F
Last 4 bars of section C
Eb7(b9) Eb E G Bb Db
Ab6 Ab C Eb F
Okay next, Armando's Rhumba is part of the repertoire of the day. There's plenty of cool arpeggio stuff going on throughout the melody of the song :D
Here's a version of it by The Rosenberg Trio:
And if you want to listen to it played by its original composer, here it is by Chick Corea:
Though I really can't deny the fact that I really prefer latin music played on the guitar, more specifically the gypsy guitar, because of the timbre of the instrument. If you checked out the version by The Rosenberg Trio you would know what I mean :D
Hahahah but the Chick Corea version is great to listen to for guitarists too, & definitely for pianists to learn, especially with all the rhythmic montunos going on for the piano and the cool clapping. The clapping I won't really call it a clave I think because it ain't a 2-3 clave or a 3-2 clave, it is just a segment of the 3-2 clave, more specifically the first half of the 3-2 clave. Maybe there is an official term for it, ok I will go and find it out !
Okay so here's the Tabs and chords:
Now for this tune, your homework would be to figure out the chord tones yourself and of course the chord voicings as well.
Also, though my teacher can solo over chord changes like no one's business and he has tons of jazz classics under his belt, but even he says that the melody of Armando's Rhumba is hard to play. So, for you guys out there trying it, be prepared to work double. Don't give up if you find it hard to nail at first try, well, you will get it if you try it hard enough.
Now, I was thinking I could introduce you to a bit more awesome music in this post (just to whet your appetite), that is provided that you don't know these tunes yet hahahah !
Here are more stuff by West Montgomery. Of course he is not the composer of the tunes but his influence as a jazz guitarist is so great I thought I could just put up his versions of more classic jazz tunes.
Here is Montgomery playing Caravan ! Hahahah in fact there have always been people who said that "jazz is weird", "jazz is atonal" or that "jazz is not melodious". Well this is certainly one of the songs that our dear Pop-lovers would exclaim in dislike. Nevertheless, it is songs like this that I adore so much !! The notes of the melody is just so exotic, not to mention the chord progression !
I think you might want to check out Chick Corea playing the song North Africa as well on youtube ! Some cool latin instrumentation in there :D
Alright, I know what next to show you: Blues For Alice by Charlie Parker. Well it seems I'm a Charlie Parker fan. I really love Blues For Alice !!!! I don't know why but I love the song <3 <3 Something about the melody...
Well it did for me, at the least before this guitar class I had with my teacher, I may have vaguely heard Armando's Rhumba or Airegin played but I didn't officially know the songs, but after my class I'm like "Wow, such beautiful music, I want to learn them more in depth !"
Yup, how classes can get inspiring :D I hope this inspired you as well to continue learning and practicing.
Catch you again & Love ya,
Sapphire Ng <3 <3 <3