Learning how to play chord melody arrangements is one of the most sought-after skills by beginning and intermediate jazz guitarists, but it can seem out of reach for many players. While it may be a tough challenge to play a Joe Pass style chord melody on guitar, you don’t have to wait to be a master player to get a nice-sounding chord melody under your fingers.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to play a classic jazz standard, Satin Doll, arranged in an easy chord melody style.
To help you become introduced to chord melody, the A sections are all the same, and the tune uses mostly beginner-level chord shapes.
If you’re an intermediate level player, check out the practice tips as they’ll guide you on how to expand on this arrangement in your playing.
And, most importantly, have fun!
How to Practice This Satin Doll Chord Melody
When working on this chord melody arrangement of Satin Doll, you can begin by learning it note-for-note, as written. From there, you’ll be able to alter the chord melody as you expand upon it in your studies. This is for more advanced players only, so if you’re new to jazz feel free to learn the CM as written.
Here are some ways you can learn this study and begin to alter it in your playing.
- Learn the CM as written
- Alter the rhythms of the written chords
- Change the picking or strumming for each chord
- Add chord and single-note licks between phrases
- Move the CM to other strings or use different chord shapes
Satin Doll Chord Melody Arrangement
Now that you know how to practice this arrangement, it’s time to get it under your fingers.
You can listen to the audio example and play along with that track first to get the tune under your fingers.
From there, work the chord melody up to a level where you can play it with the backing track on your own, with no guitar guide track.
As always when learning a study such as this, take your time, and work it in small sections, 2, 3, or 4 bars, until it’s ready to be played together.
Listen & Play Along