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  1. #1

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    Are there arrangement guidelines for adding intros and endings to standards?
    For blues there are some common endings but intros are less common. For standards, it seems to be more like anything goes. Is it?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 12-16-2020 at 11:06 AM.

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  3. #2

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    There are some fairly established options for intros and endings, Bruce Forman runs through a few of them on one of his musicmasterclass videos, I think it’s the solo guitar one. I think Joe Pass talks about it in one or two of his videos. Can’t remember all of them off the top of my head.

    For example one way to do an intro is to play the last 4 or 8 bars of the tune, either rubato or in tempo. Or just do some kind of generic 1 6 2 5 vamp. I’ve also heard people using material from the bridge of the tune, that kind of disguises the tune a bit, quite a neat approach.

    Or as you say, you can make something up from scratch.

  4. #3

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    Actually this is a great topic, seeing as most guitarists (myself included) do not spend nearly enough time thinking about intros and endings (this is something Joe Pass has a proper moan about on one of his videos!). It’s something you can really be creative with, it’s like composing a short piece of music.

    A great source of ideas is to listen to what pianists do, they are often really good at this, e.g. Bill Evans or Barry Harris.

    Also listen to those great Sinatra records of the standards with arrangers like Nelson Riddle, they write some great intros.

  5. #4

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    Some intros
    Turnaround repeat (try Lazy Bird for a change.)
    The Basie turnaround (iii biiio ii and back over a V bass)
    Last 4
    Last 8
    Pedal V

    Endings
    Turnaround repeat
    Long ii V
    Dead stop
    The duke ellington
    Minor last chord (or other surprise chord)
    Last 8/4/2 tag

    There are a lot of standard ones for trad and swing as well

    Its great to mine recordings for ideas on ways to arrange standards. A little goes a long way.

  6. #5

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    Here's a list I made for a quartet about ten years ago --- some of the formatting hasn't carried over well ...

    Some stock intros and endings

    Intros

    1. Last 4 bars of melody rubato, turnaround, count in



    1. Last 8 bars of melody rubato, turnaround, count in



    1. 4 or 8 bar rhythmic vamp on (ii V7) or (I vi ii V7) etc (Lots of variation/alteration possible in chord quality)



    1. More vamps: I V or I bll5 or I bIII bVI



    1. on I vi ii V7 play alterations, e.g. VI7 for vi or tritone subs, e.g. III7 blll7 117 bll7



    1. Joe Pass double tritones:

    III7 bVII7 VI7 bIIl7 117 b VI7 V7 bll7 I in C: E7 Bb7 A7 Eb7 D7 Ab7 G7 Db7 C


    1. Any progression that leads to the dominant resolving to the top of the melody


    Endings


    1. Down from tritone (pedal I): ii7 V7 bv7(b5) bll7 I

    (in C: Dm7 G7 Gbm7(b5) Db7 C6 - pedal C in melody throughout)


    1. Cycle tritone (pedal V): I bIII7 bVI bll7 I

    (in C: C6 Eb7 Ab Db7 C6 - pedal Gin melody throughout)


    1. Tritone V: bll7 -> I or just bll

    in C: Db6 C6 (or just end on Db6)


    1. Bill Evans: ii7 V7 bvii7 iv7 in C: Dm7 G7 Bbm7 Fm6



    1. Miles (Funny Valentine) - minor tonic for Major: ii7 V7 i7 in C: Dm7 G7 Cm7


    Miles (Birth of the Cool) - upper structure triad: VIVI in C: B (triad) over CMaj7


    1. VII7alt for I: ii7 V7 I VII7alt in C: Dm7 G7 C6 B7alt



    1. Surprise resolutions: ii7 V7 bVII7#11 VI or

    ii7 V7 IV7#1 l III
    in C: Dm7 G7 Bb7#1 l AMaj7 or Dm7 G7 F7#1 l EMaj7


    1. Cycle from i: ii7 V7 i7 IV7 bVII bIII bVI bII I



    in C: Dm7 G7 Cm7 F7 Bb6 Eb6 Ab6 Db6 C6


    1. 2 to b2: iil 1 bllb9 bV VII7 I

    in C: Dml 1 Db9 Gb6 B7 CMaj9#11


    1. Pedal (on tonic or fifth): ii7 V7 i7 II/I bII/I I in C: Dm7 G7 Cm7 DIC Db/C C



    1. Basie: I ii7 biiidim I7alt

    in C: C Dm7 Ebdim7 C13#11

    (1) similar idea to the Basie ending (tonic as tension): #iv7b5 iv6 iii7#5 biii7 ii7 bII I
    in C: F#m7b5 Fm6 Em7#5 Eb13 Dm7 DbMaj7 C6


    1. another tonic-as-tension ending: bVI bII I

    in C: AbMaj7 DbMaj7 C


    • subdominant minor (subs for VI):

    V7 #iv7b5 iv7 iii7 vi7 ii7 V7 I [can sub biii7 for vi7] in C: G7 F#m7b5 Fm7 Em7 Am7 [or Ebm7] Dm7 G7 I

    o. suspended resolution: to bVIMaj7 or IVMaj7#11 instead of l


    1. melody tags (e.g. last 4 bars 3 times, resolving third time)



    1. Chromatic line 3 -> 5 in C: EFF#G



    1. Descending bass line: 1 b7 6 b6 6 4 3 1


    s. A-Train (bass): 1 3 4 #4 5 6 7 1


    1. Cadenza (before final note/chord)



    1. Vamp (ii-V [iii-VI-ii-V]) with trading


    Other variations in playing the head (in and/or out, or shout chorus)


    1. Stop time



    1. Other rhythmic variations, e.g. Latin for Swing or 3/4 for 4/4



    1. Modulation - e.g. 2d A and B sections up/down half step, or move up a fourth for blowing section

  7. #6

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    I'm going to print that out, pcjazz. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #7
    Excellent topic. My ensemble teacher is currently drilling us on common practice bandstand intros and endings -- all of them straight from Christian's list above. Off the top, I think the Bird/Diz intro to ATTYA is pretty much standard and Doxy has a tag ending with a hit on the VI7 that I hear a lot.
    It shows some musicianship if you put effort into the intro/outro and I think it's one key to keeping audience interest. Even in a jam -- where it's often just count it in, then off to the races -- just a quick little arrangement can stand out. It's maybe more important for chord melody playing, just as a practical matter to extend the tunes beyond head-solo-head-out.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Are there arrangement guidelines for adding intros and endings to standards?
    For blues there are some common endings but intros are less common. For standards, it seems to be more like anything goes. Is it?
    Some standards or GASB tunes actually had verses that are now almost never played. They were kind of a transition from the dialogue of the Broadway musical to the singing of the (soon to be) standard. They are largely forgotten now, but many times they make a very nice introduction. They have the added virtue that since they were written specifically for that tune, they are just right, plus people have no idea what you're about to play since they have probably never heard the verse.

  10. #9

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    Yes Lawson! The intro verses to My Funny Valentine is classic. For next week, same with the intro to White Christmas.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Some standards or GASB tunes actually had verses that are now almost never played. They were kind of a transition from the dialogue of the Broadway musical to the singing of the (soon to be) standard. They are largely forgotten now, but many times they make a very nice introduction. They have the added virtue that since they were written specifically for that tune, they are just right, plus people have no idea what you're about to play since they have probably never heard the verse.
    Excellent point, I’d forgotten about that. Sometimes it’s not easy to find the verse, the fakebooks often leave them out. It’s worth listening to singers such as Sinatra, Ella, etc., they sometimes sing the verse.

    Dexter Gordon sometimes played the verse on his recordings of ballads.

  12. #11

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    Spend $11 on Mickey Baker's book. He's got a few lessons on introductions and endings. It's probably trivial to the more seasoned players but to me, playing through them was the first time I played anything and thought "this sounds jazzy!"

  13. #12

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    Some verses sound great on instruments. Others; not so much.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBrooklyn
    Excellent topic. My ensemble teacher is currently drilling us on common practice bandstand intros and endings -- all of them straight from Christian's list above. Off the top, I think the Bird/Diz intro to ATTYA is pretty much standard and Doxy has a tag ending with a hit on the VI7 that I hear a lot.
    It shows some musicianship if you put effort into the intro/outro and I think it's one key to keeping audience interest. Even in a jam -- where it's often just count it in, then off to the races -- just a quick little arrangement can stand out. It's maybe more important for chord melody playing, just as a practical matter to extend the tunes beyond head-solo-head-out.
    A little imagination can work wonders.

  15. #14

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    Actually some of them are pretty dreadful. But you can use your imagination, improvise over the (usually simple) changes and that can become an intro thats been written to tie into the ‘real’ song.Rather than some formula from a book.
    or just sing it... the words always make sense

  16. #15

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    Most verses are forgotten, but an exception is I Left My Heart in San Francisco. You've probably heard, "the loveliness of Paris ...".

    For groove based tunes, I like a vamp. It gives the rhythm section a few bars to get the groove locked in. Might not be necessary if everybody has played it together before, but it's often helpful. Also, lets the melody player know what the feel is going to be before he starts playing it.

    For a casual with a singer, I like last 4 or 8, often with the melody or a paraphrase thereof. Gets the singer in key and on the one of the first bar. It has the advantage of being simple to communicate, easy to play and hard to screw up. The fact that the number of bars in the intro is specified (4 or 8) means that no cue is necessary. You should be able to count it easily and if you get distracted, hopefully the drummer will know when the top is coming and presage it.

    For guitar trio, I like solo guitar, often rubato. It's different than the rest of the tune and it kills time. Otherwise, people are going to hear more guitar and bass solos than they want. They might take it from Joe Beck or Joe Pass, but not everybody else. Verbal count in to communicate the tempo, unless the pickup notes make it obvious.

    For gpbd quartet could be anything, but if the guitar is on the melody, I think it works well to enter after a piano trio vamp. Usually requires a nod or something to cue the melody.

    If there's a horn instead of piano, the guitar can take on the intro role in a number of ways. Or the whole group in a vamp. A trick I don't think anybody mentioned yet is to play the vamp a half step away (up or down).

    This not intended to be an exhaustive list. Just stuff I feel comfortable doing.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-16-2020 at 08:53 PM.

  17. #16

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    This is a great topic. I'm not playing much in the way of gigs any more [even before covid] but one of the things that always bugged me, as a horn player, were guys who played an intro that was just the melody line - as in, let's use the last 8 as an intro but they'd play the melody. I always tried to get my rhythm guys to intro a tune without the melody line, just comp something to get to the head.

    I liked the idea above about using the bridge. Figured that would get rid of the melody line intro thing.

    Always thought that the intro should be something that just got the band TO the head.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I'm going to print that out, pcjazz. Thanks for sharing.
    Me too


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #18

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    The exported version I posted above has lots of formatting errors. Here is a link to the original PDF: Dropbox - IntrosOutros.pdf - Simplify your life