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 this lesson, you will learn a chord melody arrangement of Stompin’ in the original key of Db major.

The Savoy Ballroom

Stompin’ at the Savoy is named after the popular Savoy Ballroom, a nightclub in Harlem (NY) that was famous for its Lindy Hop dancing and its no-discrimination policy. The ballroom was in operation from 1926 to 1958.

Stompin’ has an AABA structure.

While the chord progression revolves around a ii V I, the melody follows a call and response structure between the sections of the big band. In guitar versions of Stompin’, the call and response technique is heard between chord hits and single-note riffs.

Recommended listening:

  • Charlie Christian – Live at Minton’s (1941).
  • Jim Hall – Jazz Guitar (Jim Hall’s debut album from 1957).
  • Joe Pass – Intercontinental (1970), on which the B-section of the arrangement below is based.



Video & Guitar Tabs / Notation

Stompin' at the Savoy - Jazz Guitar Lesson

Backing Track

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Listen & Play-along

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Stompin at the Savoy guitar tabs page 1

Stompin at the Savoy guitar tabs page 2

Stompin at the Savoy guitar tabs page 3


Stompin’ at the Savoy Guitar Pro FileGuitar Pro File


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70 thoughts on “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

  1. Stuart

    Good lesson for a great tune, thanks for all the good lessons.

  2. Anonymous

    very nice playing. Thank you.

  3. Elias David Baena

    Como siempre maestro excelente interpretación.

  4. Anonymous

    One of my all time favorites! Thanks so much for this outstanding contribution. It will help so many that are on this path. Wonderful job playing it as well. Impressive.

  5. johan potgieter

    Fantastic lesson Dirk. Have you considered releasing a volume of Jazz standards played in chord melody style. I am convinced there will be a huge uptake. It will be money very well spent. Keep up the good work.

  6. Carlo S

    I like this! So I print the pdf to study it just now. I’m happy for having found a very good place to finally start playing jazz guitar. I play acoustic since many years and I hope to find the time to follow your lessons soon… Great job Dirk, congratulations and best wishes for everything.

  7. Gaz

    Thank you. I have really enjoyed playing this 🙂

  8. Dolf Schaller

    This is very amazing job – you play Stompin’ at the Savoy really new, Thanks for the top sound and the pdf.

  9. Jeffery

    Thanx, it’s really great to have the tune and the music to go with it! Makes learning and playing along easier!

  10. Salvador

    Maravilloso tema. Muchas gracias maestro.

  11. Mark Alan Altman

    May I recommend Andreas Oberg’s recording as one of the best you will ever hear.

  12. Gary Standerfer

    Great arrangement. Been wanting to learn this one for a long time. Thank you.

  13. Stan


    I love the arrangement! However, there are a few chords that I don’t understand. I’m hoping that others on here more knowledgeable would be able to help out.

    In bar 4 (Bb7 and Ebm7), wouldn’t the first chord be Bdim7 since the accidental makes it a natural B and not a Bflat in the first chord? The tab also shows a natural B. Also, shouldn’t the second chord be an Ebm11 (not Ebm7), since the 11th (Ab) is present on the high E?

    In bar 12, the second chord (Bb7b9), the tabs seem to denote a Fdim7. Unless you add the B(flat9) on the high E which would give you a Bb7b9/F chord.

    In bar 32, The first chord (Ab7b9) doesn’t have an Ab, so would Bbdim7 be a better name?

    Thanks in advance, all!

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Stan, all these chords you mention are diminished chords, a common substitution for dominant chords. The Ddim7 voicing in bar 4 for example has the notes D F Ab Cb, functioning as 3, 5, b7, and b9 over Bb7. The Eb minor chord in bar 4 is indeed an Ebm11.

      1. inland

        Thanks, Dirk. Also, for the Ab7b9 in bar 32, I think that should be an A7b9 and not an Ab7b9.

  14. Ed deSteiguer

    Great arrangement, great playing. Really appreciated! Very nice guitar as well! Thanks!

  15. Anonymous

    Really helpful. Thank you very much. Bluesview

  16. Matthew

    Hi Dirk, my guitar pro 6 will not open the gp file you left there is it a newer version?

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Matthew, the file is made with Guitar Pro 7.5

    2. ~Rich

      I use GP5 and the files will not open for me either. I have downloaded the free Tux Guitar program. This is an open source program and it will run these files. I then save the file as a GP5 file that I can then open from my Guitar Pro program. (I prefer GP over Tux, but would have no problem using it if I didn’t have GP). Hope this helps.

  17. Mario

    Thank you so much. After practicing for few weeks, I can play this beautiful tune without any issues. Your method of teaching is perfect. I’ve improved as a guitarist because of your lessons.

  18. Arto Viitanen

    Hey Dirk,
    I have a question about Solar: how can I know which scales are used for playing solos in different bars. For example, on the chords are Eb7, Ab7, and Dmaj7, I can use the Db major scale (bars 10-11).
    The lesson (Solar) is very good so I spent a lot of time to manage it.
    I start the new lesson (Stompin at the Savoy). You have done very useful work in these jazz lessons. I enjoy them a lot.
    Watch out the Corona virus.
    Regards, Arto

      1. Arto Viitanen

        Hey Dirk
        Thank you very very much. It is very good information to learn.
        I think, i need to read some theory to get good foundation. So I ordered
        your theory book. Now it is time to learn.



  19. Thomas

    Hi Dirk,

    I subscribed to your website 6 months ago and have not had the slightest idea of the depth and quality of teaching jazz guitar the way you do it via the numerous tuitions. I am novice to the genre of guitar jazz, but developed a fascination for the music of jazz. A daunting task, a challenge, but worthwhile to put the work into it. I have tried different ways to get my feet on the ground of jazz guitar without getting the impression I am actually making any progress. Until I started engaging with your tuitions. And WOW- It works! You also seem to have the right intuition and knowledge of choosing the pieces you transcribe (Like Stompin’ At The Savoy; I got the sheet music from the internet but had made no real progress with teaching myself). Very well done. I am definitely hooked on now. Keep up your excellent work. I am looking forward to receiving the next transcription.

    Kind regards,


    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Thomas, thanks for the kind comment, I’m glad my lessons are helping! If you have any questions, let me know.

  20. Stephen

    Beautiful song. Thank you for sharing it.

  21. leo

    It’s a Lovely song. I knew it since I was a Child. 11 years old. Benny Goodman. Great memories. So thank you for the lessons!!!!!

  22. Al B.

    Great lesson and the video really helps a lot. Question, what would be played when a different instrument is soloing? Not well versed enough to know what would be played. Any suggestions? Thanks again, your lessons are a lot of fun and very helpful.

  23. Matthew

    Right in the ball park. Your tutorials get me heading in the right direction every time.Thanks!

  24. Ashish Yadav

    This was amazing. Just learnt the full thing. Now on to dissecting it 😀

  25. luciano

    Wonderful Version
    Grazie Maestro

  26. Peter

    Nice arrangement. Thank you!

  27. Rob

    Brilliant, great fun, thank you for this work!

  28. Elias Baena

    Interpretation, phrasing excelent thanks teacher.

  29. gege

    super petit morceau avec ça ont peu faire des progrès merci

  30. Jack

    Thanks Dirk, beautifully played and much appreciated

  31. Norman

    Beautiful and thank you. I will enjoy learning this one

  32. Robert Buck

    Thank you. Excellent ,listening to this first thing this morning , solidifying my interest in jazz guitar. Now I know I have had it on the back burner to long,

  33. Bart

    Thanks for sharing; beautiful small piece of music 🙂

  34. Keith

    First class, Dirk, as a lesson, and beautifully played by you!!

  35. Rob King

    Many thanks Dirk! Just what I needed in these crazy times!

  36. Pedro Noleto

    Thanks, Dirk. Another great, generous lesson. Very nice playing! — “It don’t mean a thing (if ain’t got that swing)”.

  37. Timothy Daniels

    Beautiful. One of the true classics of 2Oth century music. Thank you for such an accessible arrangement.

  38. Martin Krause

    thanks so much! I will try it, as far as I can. Awesome.

  39. Scott Davies

    Thank you that’s great

  40. KP Witt

    Thanks, very kind, I love it

  41. Pablo Garcia

    I really liked this lesson. Thanks!!

  42. vincent jacobs

    Fabulous !! Thank you !! So much better than reams of written work!

  43. Axel

    Great tune great playing. Thanks a lot.

  44. Larry Garnett

    This is great Dirk, thank you. I have guitar pro so this works out perfectly. I have shared on twitter and FB. Excellent instruction from a jazz master and great mentor.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Thanks for sharing, Larry!

  45. didn’t realize it could be so good

  46. Philip Maxwell Senior

    Fantastic, thanks! (o;

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