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Minor Swing: Tune of the Month, Dec '05

JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
edited November 2013 in Repertoire
Hi, all.

Since this is the first tune of the month, I thought we'd begin at the beginning, as it were. When most of us were getting into Gypsy Jazz, Minor Swing was probably the first tune that made us feel like we really 'got it'. That said, it's always been a vehicle for the greats as well; it's simple enough to encourage the newcomer, but wide open enough to appeal to the experienced player. So let's take a look at it.

A) Harmony: Chords, Chord Shapes, Substitutions
Here's a basic chart (we're mostly concerned with the chorus, and note that many players play bars 13 & 14 as just E7):
gr_minor.gif

You could certainly play it with just a few shapes; Am at the 5th fret, Dm at the 10th, and E7 at the 7th...but after a few choruses that would be awfully boring, no? Here are some options:

One bar per line:
Am6
Am6
Dm6/B
Dm6/B
E7b9/B
E7b9/D E7
Am6 Bdim
Am/C C#dim
Dm6
Dm6
Am/C Bdim
Am6
E/G#
E7/B E7
Am6
Ddim Fdim

Or:

One bar per line:
Am6
Am6
Dm6/B
Dm6/B
E7
E7
Am6 Bdim
Am/C C#dim
Dm6
Dm6
Am/F#-9th fret
Am/F#-9th fret
E/G#-11th fret
E/G#-11th fret
Am/F#-9th fret
F9 E9

I'm not really getting into other things a second rhythm guitar might use for tremelos and fills here, just imagine there's only one rhythm guitar for now...You could also get busier, or more out, depending on how modern a sound you're after:

One bar per line:
Am6 Bdim
Am/C C#dim
Dm6 Em6
Dm6/F Dm6
E7 E7/B
Bb7 E7
Am6 Bdim
Am/C C#dim
Dm6
G7
Am/C
F7
Bm7b5
E7
Am6
F9 E9

B) Heads: Fingering & Picking
Here's the link to Dennis' tab of the classic QHCF take of 1937:
http://tinyurl.com/b373t
He says it far better than I could.

C) Improvisation: Suggestions about how to approach the changes
Let's hear it-I stink at this. I would be interested, though, to hear various approaches to some of the changes listed above-for instance, would anyone imply the more modern set of changes over the basic changes?

D) Intros & Outros: Beginning and ending the tune, traditional or not.
Hans'che Weiss and Titi Winterstein have one of the best intros I've heard for Minor Swing, from the album Dja Maro Drom (see below). Album info here:
http://www.djangostation.com/article.ph ... rticle=208

Kruno Spisic has a nice intro as well:
http://www.kruno.net/imagesMP3/minorswing.mp3
More about the outro in another post...I've got to work in the a.m.

That's it for now. All comments and questions are welcome!
Best,
Jack.
«134

Comments

  • keep in mind that instead of playing that Am dim Am dim line up to Dm6 in bars 7 and 8, bar 8 often works well as an A dominant approaching the Dm. A7#5b9 works particularly nicely.

    Also bars 13 and 14 work well with: |F9 | Bbmaj6 E9 |

    Bar 16 can work as an E7#9 or even a Bbmaj6

    the fingering for the Bbmaj6 is the standard one:
    x
    8
    7
    8
    8
    6
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Tune of the Month is a great idea! I'm looking forward to trying these chords. Dm6/B with the 6th in the bass is a neat trick (new to me). I just tried it, plays easy as with the thumb on the B and an Am shape on the A, D & F respectively.

    Thanks for the Hans'che and Titi version, killer. Titi especially, he just tears it up.

    BTW, did you make the chord chart? It is nicely done. Assuming you did it, what did you use? I've been using Excel, but something dedicated would be better. Excel does fine until there are two or more chords per measure and yeah there are ways to do it, but it slows input way down.

    Craig
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    [quote="Craig Bumgarner"]Tune of the Month is a great idea! I'm looking forward to trying these chords. Dm6/B with the 6th in the bass is a neat trick (new to me). I just tried it, plays easy as with the thumb on the B and an Am shape on the A, D & F respectively. [/quote]

    You can certainly use that one, but I was actually thinking of this one:
    ------
    ---3--
    ---2--
    ---3--
    ---2---
    ------
    I'm in the middle of downloading some notation software that should make this sort of thing more clear in future posts.

    [quote="Craig Bumgarner"]Thanks for the Hans'che and Titi version, killer. Titi especially, he just tears it up. [/quote]
    You're welcome-I really hope people are inspired to buy the album; I listen to that one all the time, but so many people ignore the German crew.

    [quote="Craig Bumgarner"]BTW, did you make the chord chart? It is nicely done. Assuming you did it, what did you use? I've been using Excel, but something dedicated would be better. Excel does fine until there are two or more chords per measure and yeah there are ways to do it, but it slows input way down. [/quote]

    That chord chart was from the Nuages de Swing website. I usually just write them out by hand in some blank charts I made using Microsoft Word. I made a few versions to accomodate the usual kinds of tunes. Here's one to check out if you want to mess around with it on your own (this particular one was made with space left for writing out intro and outro notes at the top and bottom):

    Glad you like the idea! See you in January...
    Best,
    Jack.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    [quote="nwilkins"]bar 8 often works well as an A dominant approaching the Dm. A7#5b9 works particularly nicely.
    [/quote]
    Agreed. I'll sometimes play an A9:

    ------
    -5----
    -4----
    -5----
    -4----
    ------
    and walk it down to the Dm6/B, or just lower the 9 to Bb before making the change. It's generally good to be sure your soloist knows if you're going to the dominant. Are you voicing the A7#5b9 with the Bb on top?

    Best,
    Jack.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Some shapes a second guitar might use for tremelo fills and the like:

    Am:

    -6---
    -5---
    -7---
    -5---
    -----
    -----

    -----
    -12-
    -11-
    -10-
    -----
    -----

    -----
    -10--
    -9---
    -10--
    -----
    -----

    -12--
    -13--
    -14--
    -----
    -----
    -----

    Most of the above you can just transpose for Dm...
    Then, E7:

    -4----(also movable in 3 fret intervals as a diminished voicing)
    -3----
    -4----
    -----
    -----
    -----

    -10-
    -9---
    -9---
    -9---
    -----
    -----

    -7---
    -7---
    -7---
    -6---
    -----
    -----

    -----
    -15--
    -13--
    -14--
    -----
    -----

    I'm sure this is basic stuff for a lot of you, but I thought it would be good to start small, as it were. If any of it's new to you, experiment with it-I hope it helps, and let me know if anything's not clear...

    Best,
    Jack.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    I forgot about the outro: Many people seem to play it something like this:

    [code]-----------------------------------7----------
    -----5-4-5-6-7-8-9-10--------------7----------
    --------------------------8/9------5----------
    -------------------------------7---7----------
    -----------------------------------------------
    -----------------------------------------------[/code]
    A lot of that changes from player to player-especially after the chromatic section-but you get the idea. Lately I've been playing this:

    [code]------------------------------5-------------
    --5-4-5-6-7-8-9-10------------5--------------------12
    --4-3-4-5-6-7-8--9------------5--------------------11
    --5-4-5-6-7-8-9-10------------4-----or I'll end on:10----------
    --4-3-4-5-6-7-8-9----------------------------
    ------------------------------5-------------[/code]

    I'm interested to hear what else gets played out there-tell us what do you all do.

    Best,
    Jack.
  • ramsezazramsezaz Paris, FranceNew
    A nice chord to finish this tune is Am6Maj7 with a nice tension withthe G# on the E string:

    -4-
    -5-
    -5-
    -4-
    -x-
    -x-


    Basic stuff too, but it might be useful to someone.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    A classic...also good for Swing 48, It Don't Mean a Thing, Blues en Mineur, etc.-thanks! But as the year winds down I'm wondering what everyone would be interested in for the January tune-I've got a couple of ideas, but I'd like to hear if there's an interest in anything in particular-a waltz, or something more modern, or a ballad...let me know!

    Best,
    Jack.
  • ramsezazramsezaz Paris, FranceNew
    IT would be nice to have a major tune, something not to complicated, like maybe hungaria, or Dinah, or I can't give you with all the ii-V-I
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