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  1. #1
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    Chord Chart for "Its only a Paper Moon" in D

    Hi Folks,

    This is a great song I have really taken a liking to and the next song I want to learn. I am looking to finalize a chord chart, preferably in the key of D as that key fits my vocals best. I have a chord chart I am working with from IReal Pro that works pretty good. Before finalizing what I want to use I wondered if any of you may have a chord chart for this song that works really well for you that would give me a few alternative chord changes to consider? Also if you know of any great versions of this song in any key on youtube I would love to listen to them as well.

    At this stage in my "jazz journey" my main focus is on being a solid rhythm player with good comping skills. Our focus on songs is classic jazz standards. I play with a trio and much of the lead/solo parts will be handled by our fiddle or mandolin player.

    Here is one of the songs we are working on with all the lead/solo parts handled by the fiddle.


    Mood Indigo, Bill Ward, Guitar, Melvin Fong, Fiddle

    Thanks!

    Bill

  2. #2
    If you like to compare chord charts, you might search the internet and try to find a pdf of an out print collection of chord charts titled:
    “anthologie des grilles de jazz”

    which is sometimes titled in English:
    "jazz chord changes anthology"

    I often prefer those chord choices to those in other fake books.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward View Post
    Hi Folks,

    This is a great song I have really taken a liking to and the next song I want to learn. I am looking to finalize a chord chart, preferably in the key of D as that key fits my vocals best. I have a chord chart I am working with from IReal Pro that works pretty good. Before finalizing what I want to use I wondered if any of you may have a chord chart for this song that works really well for you that would give me a few alternative chord changes to consider? Also if you know of any great versions of this song in any key on youtube I would love to listen to them as well.

    At this stage in my "jazz journey" my main focus is on being a solid rhythm player with good comping skills. Our focus on songs is classic jazz standards. I play with a trio and much of the lead/solo parts will be handled by our fiddle or mandolin player.

    Here is one of the songs we are working on with all the lead/solo parts handled by the fiddle.


    Mood Indigo, Bill Ward, Guitar, Melvin Fong, Fiddle

    Thanks!

    Bill
    I can send you a chart later today.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    awesome, thanks!

  5. #5
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    The vanilla changes, from Ralph Patt's famous Vanilla Book, are here: It's Only A Paper Moon

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    The vanilla changes, from Ralph Patt's famous Vanilla Book, are here: It's Only A Paper Moon
    Thanks! Nice to add a new reference (the Vanilla book) to my jazz resources as well!

    Bill

  7. #7
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    For the benefit of all interested in this song here is the chord chart I have been using. Its a good one and I am only interested in trying some different ideas to see if I like them any better.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    IMO you can't go wrong using Ralph's changes. Not the hippest, of course, being just the vanilla changes, but vanilla is what you need if you're comping behind soloists. Your hip changes and the soloist's hip changes can closely resemble a train wreck.

  9. #9
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    I am glad I started this thread. I have already learned some new things.

    In my Key of D the Vanilla chord progression forthe first two bars is: D-D#dim Em7 A7.
    In my chart the first two bars are: Dmaj7 -B7- Em7 –A7.

    The B7 and D#dim have 3 of 4 notes in common.

    It appears here that a dominant 7th chord (here a B7) can be used in place of this D# diminished chord. It also indicates a diminished chord can function as a Dominant 7th chord.

    Measure 6 and 7 in the vanilla chart: D – D#dim-A7- A7
    Measures 6 and 7 in my chart: Dmaj7 - E7b5 –A7- A7

    I do not know enough about diminished and half diminished chords to understand what is going on here.

    Anyway I am going to experiment and see what I think sounds best to me and when I am finished I will post what I came up with for the final chord chart as well as share a recording of what it sounds like.

    I am still open for other ideas to try as well

    Thanks!

    Bill

  10. #10

    Chord Chart for "Its only a Paper Moon" in D

    Comparing the two charts as you’re doing to try to understand what’s really going on is a good practice. Also, look at the melody in a similar way — how do the melody notes relate to the chords? Melodies generally are made up of fragments of arpeggios, scales and chromatic approaches to chord notes, so look for those features and you’ll get a better understanding of both the melody and harmony.

    In your iReal Chart, the quick Em7-A7 turnarounds every 8 bars are too busy for me. You can replace them with A7, or just hang onto DM7 without the turnaround chords if you want to keep it really vanilla.

    You’re on the right track about the D#dim7 in the A section. You can think of it as B7b9 (the VI chord) with the root left out.

    In the B section note that G#dim7 is just an inversion of Ddim7, which leads nicely to DM7 or DM6. You’ll often hear that move in blues and gospel.

    The Em7b5 in bar 6 I think of as Gm6 (same notes). When a IV chord (G) goes from major to minor, it tends to pull you back toward the I chord (D).

    Breaking the tune down this way in the woodshed helps me internalize the tune so it will flow on the bandstand. It also has helped me learn tunes from recordings more quickly.
    Last edited by KirkP; 06-11-2018 at 02:47 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    Comparing the two charts as you’re doing to try to understand what’s really going on is a good practice. Also, look at the melody in a similar way — how do the melody notes relate to the chords? Melodies generally are made up of fragments of arpeggios, scales and chromatic approaches to chord notes, so look for those features and you’ll get a better understanding of both the melody and harmony.

    In your iReal Chart, the quick Em7-A7 turnarounds every 8 bars are too busy for me. You can replace them with A7, or just hang onto DM7 without the turnaround chords if you want to keep it really vanilla.

    You’re on the right track about the D#dim7 in the A section. You can think of it as B7b9 (the VI chord) with the root left out.

    In the B section note that G#dim7 is just an inversion of Ddim7, which leads nicely to DM7 or DM6. You’ll often hear that move in blues and gospel.

    The Em7b5 in bar 6 I think of as Gm6 (same notes). When a IV chord (G) goes from major to minor, it tends to pull you back toward the I chord (D).

    Breaking the tune down this way in the woodshed helps me internalize the tune so it will flow on the bandstand. It also has helped me learn tunes from recordings more quickly.
    Thank you Kirk for those additional nuggets of great chord information! The one that completely took me by surprise was the D#dim 7 being the same as a B7b9 with only being rootless! In the past I have generally avoided using the dominant 7b9 chords and generally just played a 7th. I never was very comfortable with the chord shapes for the 7b9 but have always been comfortable with that diminished 7th chord shape. I look forward to using that new piece of knowledge maybe in this song and certainly some future songs.

    I agree the Em7-A7 turn arounds get busy especially the last 2 beats of measure 4. I had already left that to be a complete measure of Dmaj7

    Many thanks again!

    Bill

  12. #12

    Chord Chart for "Its only a Paper Moon" in D

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward View Post
    Thank you Kirk for those additional nuggets of great chord information! The one that completely took me by surprise was the D#dim 7 being the same as a B7b9 with only being rootless! In the past I have generally avoided using the dominant 7b9 chords and generally just played a 7th. I never was very comfortable with the chord shapes for the 7b9 but have always been comfortable with that diminished 7th chord shape.
    The 7b9 chord can sound great as a V Chord if the b9 moves half step down to 5 the I chord. For example:

    G7b9 fretted 3-x-6-4-6-x
    CM7 fretted x-3-5-4-5-x [fixed the typo!]

    Or replace G7b9 by
    Ddim7 fretted x-5-6-4-6-x

    Like the sound of those?
    Now try:
    Dm7b5 G7b9 CM7

    With Dm7b5 fretted x-5-6-5-6-x

    Then try a similar exercise with other voicings. For example:

    G7b9 fretted x-10-9-10-9-x
    C6 fretted 8-x-7-9-8-x or 8-10-x-9-10-x

    Listen to how each of the four voices move at each chord change. Try singing one of the four voices while making the chord change, then try doing the same with the other three voices. Exercises like that help me internalize the voicings.

    Then try replacing G7b9 with
    G7#9 fretted x-10-9-10-11-x

    or with a tritone sub for G7:
    C#13 fretted 9-x-9-10-11-x

    There are so many possibilities. The trick is listening to each voice. I should add though, that when playing accompaniment I’ll usually leave the b9 out so I won’t step on the soloist!
    Last edited by KirkP; 06-13-2018 at 06:41 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    The 7b9 chord can sound great as a V Chord if the b9 moves half step down to 5 the I chord. For example:

    G7b9 fretted 3-x-6-4-6-x
    CM7 fretted x-3-5-4-3-x

    Or replace G7b9 by
    Ddim7 fretted x-5-6-4-6-x

    Like the sound of those?
    Now try:
    Dm7b5 G7b9 CM7

    With Dm7b5 fretted x-5-6-5-6-x

    Then try a similar exercise with other voicings. For example:

    G7b9 fretted x-10-9-10-9-x
    C6 fretted 8-x-7-9-8-x or 8-10-x-9-10-x

    Listen to how each of the four voices move at each chord change. Try singing one of the four voices while making the chord change, then try doing the same with the other three voices. Exercises like that help me internalize the voicings.

    Then try replacing G7b9 with
    G7#9 fretted x-10-9-10-11-x

    or with a tritone sub for G7:
    C#13 fretted 9-x-9-10-11-x

    There are so many possibilities. The trick is listening to each voice. I should add though, that when playing accompaniment I’ll usually leave the b9 out so I won’t step on the soloist!
    Thank you again Kirk! Yes, just trying some of those first suggestions there are some very nice sounds with those progressions and voicings. Some of those new shapes will take some getting used to.

    FYI, in that first example you showed the CM7 as:
    CM7 fretted x-3-5-4-3-x
    I suspect you meant to show it as:
    CM7 fretted x-3-5-4-5-x

    Chord progressions and chord theory is a fascinating subject with endless possibilities like you said. With your obvious knowledge of chords and progressions I will ask you this question about how I am approaching my selection and playing chords. In general the root can almost always be left out and the 3rds, 7ths should always be included. the 5th is not as important as the 3rds and 7ths but generally should be included. When you have a special chord like the 7b9 it seems it is specified for a reason to give things a different sound than the normal 7 chord. You mentioned you would leave it out if you are comping for a soloist. Can I almost always just use the 7th without the b9?

    Thanks Kirk!

    Bill

  14. #14

    Chord Chart for "Its only a Paper Moon" in D

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward View Post
    Thank you again Kirk! Yes, just trying some of those first suggestions there are some very nice sounds with those progressions and voicings. Some of those new shapes will take some getting used to.

    FYI, in that first example you showed the CM7 as:
    CM7 fretted x-3-5-4-3-x
    I suspect you meant to show it as:
    CM7 fretted x-3-5-4-5-x

    Chord progressions and chord theory is a fascinating subject with endless possibilities like you said. With your obvious knowledge of chords and progressions I will ask you this question about how I am approaching my selection and playing chords. In general the root can almost always be left out and the 3rds, 7ths should always be included. the 5th is not as important as the 3rds and 7ths but generally should be included. When you have a special chord like the 7b9 it seems it is specified for a reason to give things a different sound than the normal 7 chord. You mentioned you would leave it out if you are comping for a soloist. Can I almost always just use the 7th without the b9?

    Thanks Kirk!

    Bill
    Yes, that was a typo that I’ll edit. Thanks for catching it.

    I don’t claim to be that great a player or teacher and have lots of gaps in my knowledge, but I love this subject and glad to help.

    Roots and fifths help the listener keep track of the key, but if there’s a bass instrument they are already covered. If you play roots and fifths, just make sure they complement and subordinate to whatever the bass is doing. If there’s no bass instrument, that opens up bass lines for you.

    With the roots and fifths covered, the 3rds and 7th define the essence of the harmony. Those two notes tell the listener if the chord is major, minor, minor 7th or dominant. If the chord is straight major or minor, I’ll often play the 6th instead of the 7th, or sometimes just a major or minor triad. The 7th always adds some tension that pushes the harmony forward, but sometimes it’s nice just to take things home with a simple triad.

    When extensions like b9 or #9 are called out on a dominant chord, it’s telling me the soloist is likely to play those notes. I probably won’t actually include them in accompaniment unless my ears tell me they’ll complement whatever the soloist happens to be playing at the time. Most importantly, it’s a clue that I’d better not play a natural 9 or I’ll really make a mess of things!

    This is a seat of the pants explanation and not very rigorous, but it’s how I think on the bandstand. I know there are folks on this forum who can explain it in much more depth.

    Afterthought:
    If the root, 3rd and 7th are covered I’ll often leave out the 5th. It really doesn’t add any harmonic information and usually sounds more open without it. But if it’s a b5 chord then I’ll probably play it.

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