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

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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56 thoughts on “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

  1. 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!

  2. Ed deSteiguer

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

  3. Anonymous

    Really helpful. Thank you very much. Bluesview

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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