So What (Ronny Jordan Version)

Ronny Jordan’s acid-jazz cover of So What (composed by Miles Davis) was the first single of the late English jazz guitarist. It was released in 1992 on his debut album The Antidote and was a worldwide hit.

In this lesson, you will learn how to play Ronny Jordan’s version of So What, including the melody and the first two guitar licks that are featured on his recording.



So What – Video

So What (Ronny Jordan Version) - Jazz Guitar Lesson


Harmonic Analysis

So What is a modal tune with an AABA structure.

The identical A sections are in D minor and the melody is based on the D Dorian mode.

The B section is in Eb minor and based on the Eb Dorian mode, a half-tone higher compared to the A sections.


D Dorian Mode

The D Dorian mode is the second mode of the C major scale.

It has the same notes as the C major scale, but its tonal center is D.

The characteristic note of the Dorian mode is the natural 6th (B in the case of D Dorian). Most other minor scales (except melodic minor) have a b6.


C Major Scale C D E F G A B
 Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
D Dorian Mode D E F G A B C
 Formula 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7


D Dorian mode notes


Here are the two most common fingerings of the D Dorian mode:


D Dorian mode fingering 1


D Dorian mode fingering 2


Eb Dorian Mode

The Eb Dorian mode is the second mode of the Db major scale, a half-tone higher than the D Dorian mode and C major scale.

It has the same notes as the Db major scale, but its tonal center is Eb.


Db Major Scale Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
 Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Eb Dorian Mode Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
 Formula 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7


Eb Dorian mode notes


Here are the two most common fingerings of the Eb Dorian mode:


Eb Dorian Mode Fingering 1


Eb Dorian Mode Fingering 2


So What – Backing Track

Ronny Jordan (Miles) - So What (Backing Track) 打ち込み


So What – Melody


- +

So What (Ronny Jordan) guitar tabs page 1

So What (Ronny Jordan) guitar tabs page 2


So What – Ronny Jordan Lick 1


- +

Ronny Jordan So What Dorian lick 1 page 2

Ronny Jordan So What Dorian lick 1 page 2


So What – Ronny Jordan Lick 2


- +

Ronny Jordan So What lick 2 page 1

Ronny Jordan So What lick 2 page 2


So What (Ronny Jordan) Guitar Pro FileGuitar Pro File



Band in a Box 2022

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

51 thoughts on “So What (Ronny Jordan Version)”

  1. Ricardo Fonseca

    Great lesson for an amazing tune! Thank you very much, I’m learning a lot with you.

  2. Ronnie Murdoch

    That is so groovy Dirk, love that.

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks – a good choise

  4. Eric

    Wonderful job for a wonderful piece, both the original and Ronny Jordan’s version. I still remember vividly the first time I heard this one in 1994 in a small dance club in Antwerp, early in the morning, right across from where the legendary jazz café Gard Sivik used to be. I stood still in the middle of the dance floor for a bit and then, when I couldn’t hold it any longer, started dancing my heart out. And now I am playing my heart out with a big smile on my face. Thanks for that, Dirk.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Eric, I used to go out there as well in the 90s! Did you see Ronny Jordan in the Pacific?

        1. Dirk Laukens

          Goeie tijden indeed 🙂

      1. Anonymous

        Small world! Maybe we even shared the dance floor. No, unfortunately I was abroad when that concert took place, but I was lucky enough to see him perform in the Blue Note club in NY, I think in 2009.

  5. Martin

    Hello Dirk! Thankyou for this – a great lesson and really well played. Very much appreciated.

  6. Anonymous

    Could you tell me what is the Tempo of the backing track, So What?

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi, the tempo is around 210 bpm.

  7. Dave

    Thanks for the lesson. I like the Dorian licks. I’m using them to get used to the sound of that mode.
    Any suggestions for comping ideas?

  8. Anonymous

    Lovely song, amazing lesson … Thank you!

  9. Tony Coldwell

    This is brilliant – as is the rest of this resource!

  10. PAUL

    Thanks for sharing.
    The Guitar Pro file is very usefull and I really appreciate it. Thanks

  11. Robert

    So great thanks for sharing. That piano solo on guitar would be a killer challenge…

  12. Anders Ekman

    Thank you so much for all the great lessons! Much appreciated.

  13. Pedro Noleto

    Great, Dirk! Many thanks for this one. I love smooth jazz, acid jazz, jazz funk, bluesy jazz, besides jazz mainstream of course. Hope you do something from the repertoire of Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton in the near future. All the best, Pedro Noleto

    1. Andreas

      Thanks for the lesson. I was wondering if it is really the case that between the lick1 and lick2 sections there is a „space“ bar 65, before lick 2 starts at 66. And the same seems to appear before the piano solo.

      1. Alexandros

        Very nice! Thanks a lot!

  14. Michael

    Thanks. A great tune.
    (There seems to be a problem with opening the guitar pro file)

  15. Sedat Karakaş

    Thank you for effort Ronny Jordan and Chuck Loeb are all time favourite smooth jazz players of mine

  16. Nigel

    Fantastic tune and thank you

  17. Anonymous

    Thanks Dirk! Love this tune!

  18. Anonymous

    Thanks this is just what the doctor recommended!!!

  19. Rob

    Brilliant, well done and thank you.

  20. Jean-François

    Merci pour ces morceaux de musique et ces tutos.
    Même si je ne métrise pas l’anglais.
    Je peux quand même, grâce ou fichiers mis à disposition étudier les morceaux de musique et m’entrainer sur ma guitare.

  21. Bill

    Thanks for this – Good licks I can play off of for more choruses.

  22. Anonymous

    Ideal lesson for intermediate jazz player. Thank you, as always.

  23. Pablo Garcia

    Very good. I had listened to this version of Ronny Jordan about 15 years ago and I always liked his performance. A great lesson. Thanks!

  24. Jarmo Lehtelä

    Thank you, Dirk, once again.

  25. Anonymous

    Hi Dirk,

    well done a great track and a good job excellent. Sibbs

  26. George ávila pinto.

    Muito bom gostei muito .otimo. grato

  27. Anonymous

    Excelente lección. Muchas gracias maestro.

  28. Stuart

    Hi Dirk, not one of the most well known for me but I really enjoyed listening and going through the lesson.

  29. Ezequiel lattuada

    Gracias! Muy buena onda!

  30. Robert

    So pleased to get this tune. Ronny Jordan is a favorite and this album hits on all cylinders. I attempt to play along by ear and now I actually have the tab. Looking forward to working on this great treatment but Ronny. Thanks for paying tribute to Ronny.

  31. Anonymous

    Great! Can you please post the downloadable mp3 version of the backing track instead of the youtube version? Thx

    1. Alexandros Sariyiannis

      Super thanks!

  32. Raymond Young

    Thanks struggle through it tonight.

  33. Jeff

    Great job and thanks. Such a great song

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Thanks, Jeff, great song indeed!

  34. Tadeusz

    Great tune, great lesson.
    Thank you!

  35. Thierry Harvey

    thx great job

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Thierry, you’re welcome!

      1. Tim Haremza

        Thank you for this and for all you do. Inspiration is priceless.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top