Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chord Melody - You Are Too Beautiful

Hello fellow vibists, here's a chord melody solo to the standard You Are Too Beautiful. Some of the voicings are pretty standard while some are a little more adventurous. For the most part, I stayed with the standard changes with a little reharm here and there. Let me know if you have any questions. Ed

Here is the score:
Chord Melody on "You Are Too Beautiful"


Dave Gerhart - Percussionist, Educator said...

Awesome new blog Ed! Let me know if you would like to post an article on We would love to spot light some of your content.

Dave Gerhart

Ed Saindon & Gustavo Agatiello said...

Thanks Dave. That would be great. We could use this latest post. Please let us know if you need us to do anything. Ed

Ed Saindon & Gustavo Agatiello said...

Hey guys, I was reading through this chord melody yesterday for a student and we started to experiment with various dampening techniques that can be applied to this arrangement. Dampening opens up many more possibilities in terms of phrasing, variety of articulation, clarity with counterpoint and so on. Even deadstrokes could be used. Also, the top notes of the chords should be brought out a little bit louder in order to bring out the melody. Ed

JCP said...

Thanks for this, Ed. It sounds great and is much appreciated!


Ed Saindon & Gustavo Agatiello said...

Thanks James, Glad you enjoyed it. I'm thinking a video with me playing it along with some dampening might be helpful. Ed

Ed Saindon & Gustavo Agatiello said...

Guys, a few thoughts on this chord melody: It might be helpful to play this on piano. In doing so, you could add the roots of the chords in the left hand. Try to bring out the melody as well as any moving lines that pass through the changes. For example, the rising chromatic line that begins on middle C at the beginning of the bridge.

The basic changes are listed, but I slightly altered some of the chords here and there (Dom 7 to Dom 7 sus, Major to Major #5, etc). There are also a few added reharm chords. For example, I was thinking Eb7 (a Sub V7) on the first beat of the D-7 in the bridge.

As far as voicings go, sometimes two or three notes is better than four. This helps in terms of textural variety and clarity. Some of the voicings are a little out, but I think we can take it out a bit more especially on V7 chords. Once the II-7 is established, the V7 is implied and that's where we can stretch a bit. For example, notice some of the voicings for some of the G7 chords.

I would suggest checking out Brad Mehdlau's version of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered from his recording Songs, The Art of the Trio, Volume 3. That is one of my favorite recordings of Brad. There's a Mehldau book of transcribed solos and that track is in there. It's a beautiful track in terms of reharm, voicings and lines. Studying that transcription is like taking a course in harmony.

It's important to extract the harmonic concepts and principles from these types of solos and then be able to apply them to other songs. I did (and still do) a lot of this type of thing. Some suggested pianists to check out would include: Art Tatum, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Bill Evans and George Shearing. There are transcribed solo books of all of those pianists that can be analyzed and studied.

Feel free to email me if you have questions. If anyone would like to write out a similar solo on this tune or any other tune, I'd be glad to check it out.


Mike Blake said...

Ed, Thanks for the great articles, these are all lessons for all of us to experiment with and study. The beauty of it, we can come up with our own ideas based on all of your examples.

Thanks again,

Mike Blake

Pam said...

Thanks Mike, I'll talk to you when we get back from our trip. Ed