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  1. #1

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    Our winner for the December poll is obviously going to be "Stella By Starlight"! Below you will find a BIAB Realtracks backing track and its' lead sheet. The backing track consists of a Canadian jazz guitar trio with an introduction, 4 choruses, and a standard ending. Have fun with this one!

    wiz

    Backing Track------->Box

    Lead sheet---------->Box

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Thanks, Howie.

  4. #3

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    Here's my performance of it. Some people say I could be a twin of Martin Taylor, we look and sound so alike.


  5. #4

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    Nice ponytail Rob, suits you.

    I ran out of time to do last month's, but I play Stella quite often (it's one of my regular tunes to mess about with, as it were), so maybe I'll manage a submission this time.

  6. #5

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    OK, I've never done one of these monthly practical standards, so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never played Stella before.

    I'm trying to make sense of the score. Comments on this analysis welcome:

    Intro: I VI ii V in Bb

    Bars 5&6 ii V in Dm
    7&8 ii V in Bb
    9&10&11 ii V I in Eb
    12&13 two "random" secondary chords: Ab13 and F7 (the 7 is in the melody)
    14&15 ii V i in Dm
    16 ii V in Ab
    17 "random" chord FMaj7
    18 ii V in Dm or D
    19&20 ii V in G
    21 to 24 V i in Cm
    25 and 27 "random" Ab7b5 (b5 in melody) and BbMaj9 (9 in melody)
    28&29 ii V in Dm
    30&31 ii V in Cm (down a tone from above)
    33 to 36 ii V I in Bb (down a tone from above)

  7. #6

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    Howie - Excellent looking lead sheet! I just took a quick glance, but I've wanted to focus on this tune for a long time.

    I think Martin Taylor was getting the hang of that tune...phenomenal!

    Rob - I didn't have a chance to go through your analysis, but I will later on. Thanks.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    OK, I've never done one of these monthly practical standards, so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never played Stella before.

    I'm trying to make sense of the score. Comments on this analysis welcome:

    Intro: I VI ii V in Bb

    Bars 5&6 ii V in Dm
    7&8 ii V in Bb
    9&10&11 ii V I in Eb
    12&13 two "random" secondary chords: Ab13 and F7 (the 7 is in the melody)
    14&15 ii V i in Dm
    16 ii V in Ab
    17 "random" chord FMaj7
    18 ii V in Dm or D
    19&20 ii V in G
    21 to 24 V i in Cm
    25 and 27 "random" Ab7b5 (b5 in melody) and BbMaj9 (9 in melody)
    28&29 ii V in Dm
    30&31 ii V in Cm (down a tone from above)
    33 to 36 ii V I in Bb (down a tone from above)
    Haven't gone through your analysis in detail, but I think you're on the right lines, in that it basically consists of a shedload of ii-V's which never get to the I (or only briefly) before sliding around to the next one.

    I have tackled it in the past by really working over all my favourite ii-V lines on the chord tones of each little segment, then trying to link them up a bit by looking for the nearest note coming out of one phrase and going into the next (if that makes any sense!). Not a straightforward tune by any means.

  9. #8
    I don't know what real jazz players think about Jarrett's standards trio, but for me personally, there's nothing much better. Only have a couple of their albums, but everything they play is really compelling, especially with these standards you've heard a million times. They always bring something fresh.

    The real tune here starts at about 3:20 I think , but this one's probably not great to listen to if you're just learning the tune. it's just really out there.

    If I had to pick one desert island CD, it would probably be "any of their CDs which I haven't heard before". Just amazing stuff always. There's no inconsistency in the quality of either CDs I have, tune by tune. Great interactions. Always really pushing each other. No one's really playing back-up to anybody, in this group.

    By the way, is there any really smart person out there who can explain what the heck he is doing with these intros of these tunes? They always follow the form harmonically and somewhat melodically (but boiled down by whatever method he is using), and if you listen to them enough you hear it more and more. It's not arbitrary, something systematic....but harmonically, I have no clue how he is doing this.

    Thanks for any help.

  10. #9

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    I agree with you, Matt! I prefer Keith's playing in his trio setting. His intros are so introspective and his classical orientation and training really bloom at certain transcendent points in his meditation. Peacock and DeJohnette are not too shabby either. Keith's scatting.... proves you don't really have to sing - sounds like Porky Pig. Ahhhhh!! Teeeteeeheeh!!

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    OK, I've never done one of these monthly practical standards, so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never played Stella before.

    I'm trying to make sense of the score. Comments on this analysis welcome:

    Intro: I VI ii V in Bb

    Bars 5&6 ii V in Dm
    7&8 ii V in Bb
    9&10&11 ii V I in Eb
    12&13 two "random" secondary chords: Ab13 and F7 (the 7 is in the melody)
    14&15 ii V i in Dm
    16 ii V in Ab
    17 "random" chord FMaj7
    18 ii V in Dm or D
    19&20 ii V in G
    21 to 24 V i in Cm
    25 and 27 "random" Ab7b5 (b5 in melody) and BbMaj9 (9 in melody)
    28&29 ii V in Dm
    30&31 ii V in Cm (down a tone from above)
    33 to 36 ii V I in Bb (down a tone from above)
    Rob, your analysis is excellent and leaves no doubt about the key center changes. well done!

    wiz

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    OK, I've never done one of these monthly practical standards, so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never played Stella before.

    I'm trying to make sense of the score. Comments on this analysis welcome:

    Intro: I VI ii V in Bb

    Bars 5&6 ii V in Dm
    7&8 ii V in Bb
    9&10&11 ii V I in Eb
    12&13 two "random" secondary chords: Ab13 and F7 (the 7 is in the melody)
    14&15 ii V i in Dm
    16 ii V in Ab
    17 "random" chord FMaj7
    18 ii V in Dm or D
    19&20 ii V in G
    21 to 24 V i in Cm
    25 and 27 "random" Ab7b5 (b5 in melody) and BbMaj9 (9 in melody)
    28&29 ii V in Dm
    30&31 ii V in Cm (down a tone from above)
    33 to 36 ii V I in Bb (down a tone from above)
    Blimey, if I'd known it was that complicated I'd have been too scared to play it!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    OK, I've never done one of these monthly practical standards, so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never played Stella before.

    I'm trying to make sense of the score. Comments on this analysis welcome: ...
    I think you can analyze most of this in the home key, if you think about it. The first 8 of the form, for example, would be:

    ii - V/iii to ii - V to ii - V/IV to IV and then bVII (which resolves to I at the start of the 2nd 8 bars).

  14. #13
    Spent a good bit of time last year or so trying to get some melodic minor together. Stella is a wonderful étude for applying melodic minor. You can basically play the whole tune with different melodic minor scales . It looks like a lot on paper, but it's not as complicated on the ears and fingers. The thing is, the tune is really beautiful even rubato , while you're working on it .

  15. #14

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    Another analysis found on the web:


    For tunes like this that are just swimming in changes, you got to think of them in terms of key center.
    Like that first Emb5 to A7b9, that's a ii-V to D min. But instead it goes to Cmin, then F7--which seems like it'll be pointing out the key of the tune (and finally providing context for Stella's super diatonic melody), but then it goes to the parallel minor of the dominant chord (Fmin) and hits a ii-V in that key (Fmin7 | Bb7), to Eb7 around the circle of 4ths to Ab7.
    Then it performs what's known as a backdoor sub, where the dominant chord built off the dominant 7th of the key serves to take one right into the maj7 chord.
    So, you CAN explain the first 8 bars in words, but you got to think of it in terms of key center. If you're thinking "V of V" like some plebian violist (nothing but love for you-all string players, I know I couldn't do it for sure), you're going to be performing too much mental acrobatics.
    As for the bridge, it's G7#5 | % | Cmin | % | Ab7#11 | % | Bbmaj7 | % |, isn't it?
    Holy God, these changes are so good. The first scale/chord is G wholetone, and the structure's like G B Eb F, innit? Well, look at the next 4 chord tones, Broseidon--C Eb G Bb. The fifth becomes the third, the root becomes the fifth, the third resolves down a step to become the seventh, and the seventh jumps a fourth to become the root. This right here describes why Victor Young belonged to some alien master race that one day will return to kick our ass.
    But the next one is even more gorgeous. The root becomes the third, the third becomes the fifth, the fifth resolves up a half step to the root, the seventh resolves up a whole step to become the third. And get this--if you were smart enough to play the ninth last time, it becomes the COLOR TONE. Color tone is conserved across changes! Haha! What?!
    Next one is pretty nice too--another backdoor sub, but the color tone last time becomes the third, which is also not too bad. Root up a half step to seventh, third down a whole step to root, #4 becomes 3, seventh down a half step to fifth.
    Then it's a series of diatonic minor ii-V's back to the tonic through the last 8 bars starting on #4halfdim and you're set.

  16. #15

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  17. #16

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    Hi guys, I haven't participated for a while. I recorded a bass line and guitar track into Reaper:

  18. #17
    Almost not fair to do Stella in December. Don't you guys do Christmas and all of the music things that it entails? Anyway, Ron's beautiful playing always inspires me to pick up a guitar.

    Happy Holidays, Stella. :-) I may have to post a version with a backing at the end of January or something. This is mostly noodling, but there are a couple of decent hobbyist flourishes toward the end. Played on the banger:


  19. #18

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    Well done, Matt. But who is this guy "Ron" you refer to? You have some good lines and chord soloing in there. Do you always play on a classical? I like it.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Well done, Matt. But who is this guy "Ron" you refer to? You have some good lines and chord soloing in there. Do you always play on a classical? I like it.
    Ha ha. Sorry, brother, and thanks.

    No, I don't always play a classical. One day I'm going to get a decent jazz axe. That's one I picked up for the kids and me to throw in the back of the car for a weekly class I teach at their school. It looks terrible, has really high action, broken tuners and is scratched up pretty bad. But honestly, it just sounds so much better than my other classical. (I need to pick up a real classical as well.) I've always played jazz mostly with my fingers, but have been using a pick lately working on all of my reg homework. Seems slightly ridiculous playing a traditional nylon with the pick that way, but I like it. It's mainly the nylon and a steel-string acoustic Larivee that I have.

    I'm about three years away from empty nest. So, I'll probably focus more on getting things together later. High school is really busy right now with 3 teenagers. Always enjoy your playing and input Rob.

  21. #20

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    I'm going to try to get another version in at some point this month, but for now here is a quick and dirty CM. Comments, insults, etc. are always encouraged.


  22. #21

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    I like that, Jehu. It was interesting to see where we did the same thing, and where we differed.
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 12-16-2015 at 08:07 PM.

  23. #22

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    Here's a more polished version of what I did earlier, with quite a few changes, not least playing fingerstyle. Hope you like it. I think the melody is so beautiful, and the chords complement it perfectly. I really think I know the tune now, so will next look to doing a more upbeat version, although I do like the ballad style - I'm an old crooner, really!




    I actually woke this morning with a MONSTER headache, but found working on this beautiful tune helped somewhat. I forgot to check the levels when making this (unplugged) recording, and it almost never registered at all. So I boosted it when editing the video, although it's still quiet. Mind you, quiet is all I can cope with today. Sounds a lot better through headphones...just saying
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 12-17-2015 at 10:46 AM.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    There are so many performances of this piece on youtube, but most of them obscure the melody, certainly if, like for me, it's not a very familiar piece. So, I thought I'd better just get a straight version in my head first.
    I agree with what you said. I knew the name of the tune but not the tune itself. And the melody is hard to catch in most of the versions we can find on the web (by pro or non-pro).

    I realized the same thing with some other tunes i did not really know and thought to myself "should I/we pay attention about making the melody more evident". Sur-embellish the tune by knowing it too well could have a negative effect.

    Just a thought

  25. #24

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    "Sur-embellish"? That's a new term to me...or is it a typo?

    We've mention this in another thread recently - ignore the melody and rip through the changes, or develop the melody. I certainly don't think there is any harm in knowing the melody really well, and I would like to explore developing it. Otherwise it's hard to tell one piece from another if you walk into a bar after the head has been played. Might work better at slower tempi, though.

    By the way, I came up with what was for me a new form of playing G7b9#11 (although I didn't use it in the arrangement)

    7*666*

    It's probably well known, but not to me.

  26. #25

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    My "like button" has disappeared so this message is for all of you who have submitted a version of Stella. I like them all and hope my system problems will be gone soon..

    wiz (Howie)

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones
    Hi guys, I haven't participated for a while. I recorded a bass line and guitar track into Reaper:
    well done, fritz, I hope we hear much more from you!

    wiz

  28. #27

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    Rob, that fingering is also new to me. Thanks for the fingering.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    ... By the way, I came up with what was for me a new form of playing G7b9#11 (although I didn't use it in the arrangement)

    7*666*

    It's probably well known, but not to me.
    This is an inversion of Db7 (with 7th in the bass). It seems more exotic when you analyze it relative to G, but it's just a tritone substitution. Every 7th chord voicing you know works over both its own root and the root a tritone away.

  30. #29

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    I'm aware of that, but didn't make the connection in this instance. Thanks for reminding me!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    OK, I've never done one of these monthly practical standards, so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never played Stella before.

    I'm trying to make sense of the score. Comments on this analysis welcome:

    Intro: I VI ii V in Bb

    Bars 5&6 ii V in Dm
    7&8 ii V in Bb
    9&10&11 ii V I in Eb
    12&13 two "random" secondary chords: Ab13 and F7 (the 7 is in the melody)
    14&15 ii V i in Dm
    16 ii V in Ab
    17 "random" chord FMaj7
    18 ii V in Dm or D
    19&20 ii V in G
    21 to 24 V i in Cm
    25 and 27 "random" Ab7b5 (b5 in melody) and BbMaj9 (9 in melody)
    28&29 ii V in Dm
    30&31 ii V in Cm (down a tone from above)
    33 to 36 ii V I in Bb (down a tone from above)

    Rob, thanks - just trying to work this out myself:

    in 12 and 13 how about the Db major scale over the Ab13 and the Bb major scale over the F7?

    In 19 & 20 do you mean Gm rather than G?

    and how about the Db major scale in 33 & 34?

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones
    Hi guys, I haven't participated for a while. I recorded a bass line and guitar track into Reaper:

    Wow, that's really excellent. You're on a wholly different plane than me. I hope at some point you might talk a little about how your feeling/thinking through the tune, if that's okay.

    A very nice handling of this tune, it made my day!
    Last edited by Franklin52; 12-19-2015 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Add missing [ to quote

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu
    I'm going to try to get another version in at some point this month, but for now here is a quick and dirty CM. Comments, insults, etc. are always encouraged.

    Nice, Jehu. I keep wishing I could see the headstock on that guitar, man, like, what is that you play? Your own private luthier? ;-)

  34. #33

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    Well, yes - he made that great guitar himself!!

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatheelmusic
    Rob, thanks - just trying to work this out myself:

    in 12 and 13 how about the Db major scale over the Ab13 and the Bb major scale over the F7?

    In 19 & 20 do you mean Gm rather than G?

    and how about the Db major scale in 33 & 34?

    Db Major scale over Ab13 - yes, that works, because effectively you would be playing the mixolydian mode on Ab, the V of Db.

    Bb Major scale over F7 - ditto. There are two ways to look at it - either the major scale on the major chord, or the mixolydian mode on the V chord. Same notes.

    "In 19 & 20 do you mean Gm rather than G?" - The Am7b5 (half diminished) followed by the D7b9 would normally indicate a ii-V in a minor key, so, yes, one would expect Gm to follow. However, what we find is G augmented - a pleasant surprise - which has a Major 3rd, so can be viewed as GMajor#5. The whole-tone scale would be my scale of choice for the G+.

    "
    and how about the Db major scale in 33 & 34?" - I can see why you would choose Db Major for the C half-dim, but it has a few questionable tones over the F7 chord. For instance, the F chord has an A natural in it, one of the defining notes of the chord (the major 3rd), but the Db Major scale has Ab and Bb. There are no bad notes in jazz (despite our worst efforts, lol!), but there are some that are perhaps "less good". It's another example of the strangeness of this piece, and what attracts me to it: the minor 2-5 chords leading to a Major chord. My rule is: when in doubt, arpeggiate!

    I hope that helps? I think it's good to discuss these things, rather than just upload a performance with no comment, although doing so would be better than nothing at all. Just my opinion.

  36. #35

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    Here's my submission - I value your feedback:


  37. #36

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    Here's my first version. Quick and Dirty. I'm planning on doing a slow one too later in the month.
    Editing is horrible.
    Feedback is welcome as always.


  38. #37
    Just exploring other areas in terms of harmony, phrasing etc. Still noodling.... A "final" version would have to be pulled back a bit to play it more cleanly, in time more, and with better overall structure (or maybe I can work some of these things out "all the way").

    I'd appreciate anyone's feedback. This tune is about at my limits. Need to memorize it and listen to other versions etc. Maybe in January.

    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 12-19-2015 at 12:54 PM.

  39. #38

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    Well done, Matt. That was much more swingin than my ballad approach, and you include a solo. Excellent. I view everything I do as work in progress, and I guess you will be polishing this one for a long time to come. Keep it up.

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Well done, Matt. That was much more swingin than my ballad approach, and you include a solo. Excellent. I view everything I do as work in progress, and I guess you will be polishing this one for a long time to come. Keep it up.
    I need to steal some Rob and Jehu chord voicings for sure.

  41. #40

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    nice playing to everyone who posted.

    I wanted to pass along one tiny variation that is kind of hip: at the very end, when it goes

    Em7b5/A7/Dm7b5/G7/cm7b5/F7/Bb/Bb,

    try instead

    Em7b5/A7/Dm7b5/G7/ Dbm11-Gb7/cm7b5-F7/Bb/Bb.

    If you really want to milk it, you can do a whole chromatic descending thing there

    Fm11-Bb7/Em7b5-A7/Ebm11-Ab7/Dm7b5-G7/Dbm11-Gb7/Cm7b5-F7/Bb/Bb

    at reasonable tempi you can outline the changes in your single line playing and it creates tension against the harmony that keeps resolving itself-sort of- until you hit the Bb where it finally resolves. It also works with the melody if you put those 11ths on top.

    and if you really want to reharmonize you can try

    Fm11/Bb7/Ebm11/Ab7/Dbm11-Gb7/Cm7b5-F7/Bb/Bb

  42. #41

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    Interesting! I'll give that a try later.

  43. #42

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    Well, a favorite tune of mine, so I had to get in this month...trying a few different things out, but as always, trying to leave space. Hope you enjoy, and if there's something you like, let's discuss...heck, if there's something you don't like, let's talk about that too, because that's important
    !

  44. #43

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    Very articulate, Jeff, in every way.

  45. #44

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    Thank you!

  46. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Hope you enjoy, and if there's something you like, let's discuss...
    great as always, Jeff.

    What's your setup at school there for recording this?

  47. #46

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    Thanks, Matt.

    Just my phone and a Roland Microcube, amp set low and placed close to phone.

    By the way, like your posts in this thread a lot.

  48. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Thanks, Matt.

    Just my phone and a Roland Microcube, amp set low and placed close to phone.

    By the way, like your posts in this thread a lot.
    Wow. Didn't realize it was just the phone. Pretty amazing what you can get out of a phone these days. That's the reason for my crazy camera angle by the way. Mic up by the headstock for a mellower steel string, right?

    Thanks for the kind words.

  49. #48

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    Jeff, that was superb. I love your playing - very soulful, good subs, beautiful lines. In short: inspirational. Thanks for that.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Hope you enjoy, and if there's something you like, let's discuss
    Jeff, in bar 17 of Howie's score (that would be bar 13 without the 4-bar intro) you are playing a Bb in the bass. I've seen a couple of charts with a Bb chord there, yet Howie has an F. The melody is Eb, so I played it as an F7, but I'm not convinced about the chord. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, (1-minute mark) I love your sub for the BbMaj7 (bars 17&18, Howie's score). From what I can make out you are playing a low E, the tritone note, with a BbMaj6/7 above it. Very cool. I'm going to steal that one

    But what are you doing right at the beginning for the A7b9? It looks like you have an open A, G on 4, C# on 3, then instead of playing an F on 2, you stretch all the way back to play it on 1 at the first fret. Is there anything on 2? C? So, are you subbing the A7b9 with A7#5#9? Whatever it is, I like it.

    And (if you don't mind all these questions!) what are you playing for the G+ chord in bar 21? Looks like a Galt/D. Sounds great. I was using an augmented chord.

  51. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by nick1994
    I deleted my other post because I wanted to try chord melody so here it is
    Dude, no.... I love a good CM, but the other was good stuff. I've got way uglier than that all over the interwebs. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I hope at some point you might talk a little about how your feeling/thinking through the tune, if that's okay.
    Me too. I was looking forward to an answer to this as well.

    I'd like to know what your approach was on that first take as well.