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

56 thoughts on “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

  1. 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.

        Regards

        Arto

  2. 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,

    Thomas

    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.

  3. Stephen

    Beautiful song. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. 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!!!!!

  5. Al B.

    Dirk,
    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.

  6. Matthew

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

  7. Ashish Yadav

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

  8. luciano

    Wonderful Version
    Grazie Maestro

  9. Roger Delvoye

    It’s a pitty it can only be opened by GP.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Roger, what program do you use?

    2. Ashish

      You can use soundsplice.com. It can open and play GP files

  10. Rob

    Brilliant, great fun, thank you for this work!

  11. Elias Baena

    Interpretation, phrasing excelent thanks teacher.

  12. gege

    super petit morceau avec ça ont peu faire des progrès merci

  13. Jack

    Thanks Dirk, beautifully played and much appreciated

  14. Norman

    Beautiful and thank you. I will enjoy learning this one

  15. 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,

  16. Bart

    Thanks for sharing; beautiful small piece of music 🙂

  17. Keith

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

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