Smile (Charlie Chaplin)

Smile (Charlie Chaplin)

Charlie Chaplin, famous for making people laugh, was also good at making music. He composed “Smile” for his last silent movie “Modern Times” in 1936 with the help of composer David Raksin. The first phrase of the melody is identical to a phrase (Cavaradossi singing “Quale occhio al mondo può star di paro”) in the […]

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Alone Together for jazz guitar

Alone Together

Alone Together was composed by Arthur Schwartz in 1932 and featured in the Broadway musical Flying Colors. In this lesson, you will learn how to play the melody mixed with chords. Alone Together has a bit of an unusual form because it has a length of 44 bars instead of 32 as is usual with

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Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - In a Sentimental Mood

In a Sentimental Mood

In a Sentimental Mood is a famous jazz standard composed and recorded by Duke Ellington in 1935. In this lesson, you will learn the melody of In a Sentimental Mood and a solo over its chord changes (with some Emily Remler vocabulary mixed in). The original recording and many other recorded versions are in F

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Nature Boy

Nature Boy

Nature Boy was written by eden ahbez (his real name was George Alexander Aberle) in 1947 and recorded by Nat King Cole in 1948. Cole’s recording became a no 1 hit for eight weeks and sold over a million of copies. In this lesson, you will learn how to play the melody and chords of

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Dizzy Gillespie Groovin' High

Groovin’ High

Groovin’ High was written by Dizzy Gillespie in 1946. The standard is probably his most famous composition and one of the first famous bebop recordings. In this lesson, you will learn how to play the melody of Groovin’ High. Groovin’ High is based on the chord structure of a 1920s song called Whispering, which was

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Charlie Parker - Billie's Bounce for Jazz Guitar

Billie’s Bounce

Billie’s Bounce, one of the most iconic jazz standards from the bebop era, was written by Charlie Parker in 1945 and is one of his most famous songs. The original recording featured Charlie Parker (alt sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Dizzy Gillespie (piano !), Curley Russell (bass), and Max Roach (drums). The story goes that Billie’s

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What a Wonderful World

What a Wonderful World

What a Wonderful World was written by Bob Thiele/George David Weiss and recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1967. It was a hit in the UK, but not in the US because Larry Newton (the president of ABC Records) didn’t promote the song on the grounds that he didn’t like it. In this lesson, you will

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Moon River jazz guitar arrangement

Moon River

Moon River was composed by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). The song was written for Audrey Hepburn to sing (real) while she accompanies herself on the guitar (not real). In this lesson, you will learn an easy chord melody arrangement of Moon River. Mancini won the Grammy Awards

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Georgia on my Mind jazz guitar version

Georgia on my Mind

Georgia on my Mind was composed in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael, who also made the first recording of the song with his orchestra featuring Hoagy on vocals, Eddie Lang on guitar, and Bix Beiderbecke on cornet (his last recording session). In 1960, Ray Charles recorded his famous version, which was a number one hit all

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Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby Of Birdland was composed by George Shearing in 1952 and was intended as the theme song for the legendary jazz club Birdland (NY). It became one of the most popular jazz standards of all time. Lullaby of Birdland is one of my favorite jazz melodies, making it a perfect candidate for a chord melody

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Grant Green Besame Mucho

Besame Mucho (Grant Green)

Besame Mucho, one of the most popular songs of the 20th century, was written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. The bolero is inspired by the Eusebius theme from the first movement of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor (opus 54). The most famous jazz guitar version of the song was recorded in

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Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon was written by composer Bart Howard in 1954 and recorded by singer Kaye Ballard in the same year. The song was originally titled “In Other Words” until Peggy Lee, who made the song popular after her performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963, convinced Bart Howard to change it

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White Christmas jazz guitar arrangement

White Christmas

White Christmas, written by Irving Berlin in 1940, is one of the most popular Christmas songs. The title track of the featured movie “Holiday Inn”, starring Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby, has become a standard tune for Christmas. In this lesson, you will learn how to play a chord melody arrangement of this great song.

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All of Me

All Of Me

All of Me was written in 1931 by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks and has since become a popular jazz standard, especially among gypsy jazz guitar players. The song is suitable for beginners because of its slow harmonic movement (most chords last two bars). In this lesson, you will analyze the chords of All of

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The Flintstones Theme for Guitar

The Flintstones Theme

(Meet) The Flintstones is the theme of the ’60s television series The Flintstones (from season 3 on) and is one of the most recognizable theme songs ever. It was composed by Hoyt Curtin in 1961 and recorded with a big band and the Randy Van Horne Singers. In this lesson, you will learn how to

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Dr. No James Bond

The James Bond Theme

In this second installment of “Iconic Guitar Parts”, we’ll have a look at one of the most recognizable movie themes ever, the James Bond Theme, featuring the famous guitar riff played by Vic Flick. Written by Monty Norman and arranged by John Barry, the James Bond theme song was recorded in 1962 for the first

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Take The “A” Train

Take the “A” Train, composed by Billy Strayhorn in 1939 and first recorded in 1941, was the signature tune of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The title refers to the then recently opened A subway line that ran from Brooklyn to Northern Manhattan. The chord progression of Take the “A” Train is loosely based on another

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Stompin’ at the Savoy

Stompin’ at the Savoy is a swing-era jazz standard written by alto saxophonist Edgar Sampson in 1933, although it is often credited to Benny Goodman, whose recording of the song peaked at number 4 in the 1937 hit charts. Stompin’ was the theme song of the Savoy Ballroom’s theme band, led by Chick Webb. In

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