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 Me, learn how to play the melody, and how to improvise a single-note solo over its chord changes.
- Louis Armstrong – 1931-1932
- Django Reinhardt – Nuages (1940)
- Billie Holiday – Love Me, Love My Dog (1941)
- Frank Sinatra – Swing Easy! (1954)
- Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Swings Gently with Nelson (1962)
All of Me – Video
All of Me – Melody
Backing Track (made with Band in a Box)
Listen & Play-Along
All of Me – Analysis
Before we go on to the solo, we’ll have a look at the harmonic structure and the scales you can use over All of Me.
Structure: 32 bars long, with an ABAC structure. A1 and A2 are identical.
Key: the version in the Real Book is in C major. The original was recorded in Bb major.
C Major Scale
The C major scale can be used on all chords that are marked blue in the analysis chart.
As an alternative to the major scale, I use bebop scales in the solo.
On major chords, you can use the major bebop scale (major scale + b6).
On dominant chords, you can use the dominant bebop scale (Mixolydian mode + 7).
On minor chords, you can use the minor bebop scale (Dorian mode + 7).
A Harmonic Minor Scale
E7 (in All of Me) is a secondary dominant chord that resolves either to A7 or Am7.
I (Cmaj7) going to V/VI (E7) is a common chord progression and is also used in jazz standards such as Someday my Prince Will Come, After You’ve Gone, Come Rain or Come Shine, I’ll Be Seeing You, Basin Street Blues, I Should Care, and On a Slow Boat to China.
When it resolves to Am7 (bar 9), it is called a secondary dominant and is notated as V/vi (dominant of the vi).
A secondary dominant is a dominant chord that resolves to any chord that is not the tonic (I).
When it resolves to A7 (bar 3), it is called an extended dominant and is notated as V/VI (dominant of the VI).
An extended (secondary) dominant is a dominant chord that resolves to another dominant chord.
The scale of choice to play over E7 is the A harmonic minor scale, also known as the E Phrygian dominant scale or the E Mixolydian b9 b13 scale.
|A harmonic minor scale||A||B||C||D||E||F||G#|
|Played over E7||11||5||b13||b7||1||b9||3|
D Harmonic Minor Scale
The A7 (in All of Me) is a secondary dominant that resolves to Dm7 (IIm7).
The scale of choice here is the D harmonic minor scale (= A Phrygian dominant).
D Mixolydian Mode
D7 in a C major key is “the” secondary dominant (V/V or the “dominant of the dominant”).
It’s a good idea to include this chord progression into your practice routine because it is used in a lot of jazz standards such as Days of Wine and Roses, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, and Just Friends.
The scale of choice here is the D Mixolydian mode, the 5th mode of the G major scale.
F Melodic Minor Scale
Fm(6) is the IVm in the key of C major and is an example of modal interchange.
This chord is borrowed from the parallel minor of C and is a common occurrence in pop music (it’s a favorite of the Beatles) and jazz music, in standards such as Fly Me to the Moon, How Deep is the Ocean, and How High the Moon.
It is often used between the IV and the I with a chromatic voice leading going from the 3rd (of Fmaj7) to the b3 (of Fm7) to the 5th (of Cmaj7).
The scale of choice to play over Fm7 (as a IVm) is the F melodic minor scale.
All of Me – Solo