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After you've gone harmonic study

edited August 2009 in Repertoire Posts: 101
I am trying to understand the harmonic structure of the song after you've gone but I have some questions.
I do not see what will it be for :
C / % / Cm6 / (F7) / G / % / E7 / % /
Cm6 / G / B7

What key ? What structure ?
Maybe I am all wrong :)
Help please ! :D


  • pmgpmg ATHERTON, CANew Dupont MD50R
    Posts: 90
    Hmmm. Pretty straightforward. Tune is in Key of G and starts on the 4 chord to a 4 minor, then does a common 6, 2, 5 progression after returning to the tonic (G). Turnaround Dm7 -> G7 is a common way to return to the 4 chord (C).

    The B section is again in G with a slight variation of a 1, 3, 2, 5 progression. I think of the Cm6 in this section as just a "passing" chord and a common way to creating more interest rather than just staying on the Am.

    Lots of these Django type tunes start on a chord other than the tonic which makes figuring out key less obvious - but they all get familiar after a while.

    Did that answer your questions?
    I'm always interested in jamming with experienced jazz and gypsy jazz players in the San Francisco - San Jose area. Drop me a line. Bass players welcome!
  • Posts: 101
    :oops: Well I have admit I am a bit confused. I am real beginer with theory.
    Please let me know if this lokks like what you said ?



    On the part B, are you thinking E7 as a III of G because it can be substitute by Bm ?
    Also, Are you thinking Am as a V of G because it can be substitute by D7 ?
    Thanks for your help !
  • pmgpmg ATHERTON, CANew Dupont MD50R
    Posts: 90
    Good job! No "Key of D" - but the other analysis is correct. In this type of music, SIMPLER IS BETTER.

    Another idea when approaching this for soloing: when you are soloing against chords that have notes outside the tonic scale e.g., E7, A7 - keep your solo in the tonic scale BUT ALTER THE NOTES OF THE SCALE TO CONFORM TO THE CHORD. So for E7, stick to basic G scale licks, but alter the G to G# (everything else stays the same). For A7, the C becomes a C#. There are other things you can also do against these chords (diminished, chromatic, etc.) - but that is the basic idea.

    Get the Denis Chang DVD series. He goes into this in more detail for soloing.

    Have fun!!!
    I'm always interested in jamming with experienced jazz and gypsy jazz players in the San Francisco - San Jose area. Drop me a line. Bass players welcome!
  • bluetrainbluetrain Finland✭✭✭ Cach, Epiphone Triumph, Gibson ES-300
    Posts: 156
    This Cm7 - F7 - G is called a "backdoor" in some theorybooks and it appears to be very common in swing music. Not as common as IIm7-V7-I but very common. Sometimes the following dominant chord is not played so you might just play Cm6 - G. You can find it for example in Embraceable you, There will never be another you and Danse Norvegienne.

    I think in swing music it's more important to think in terms of arpeggios than scales if you want to make it sound like swing but of course if you can play both it's more interesting (at least to me). For E7 chord if you raise the G to G# it gives you A melodic minor scale. Other interesting scale to use is F melodic minor (E altered scale) which creates more tension. When improvising over E7 - A7 - D7 - G some players might think the whole progression as E7 - Am7 - D7 - G while improvising even though the chord is A7.
  • Posts: 101
    Thanks PMG and Bluetrain !

    When I improvise I always think arpeggios, I never think scales.
    I was interested to understand the harmonic progression of this tune to be able to spot the II-V-I...
    I feel like I think too much chords to chords I would like to think more progression to progressions. So I can clear my head and think ahead and maybe knowing where I am going :lol:
    Because most of the time I will have good ideas and BANG I hit my head against the wall. :)
    I am trying to study the harmonic progression of tune to make it simpler for me when I am in the action.

    Do you think you could help me with the tune J'attendrai also ?

    Thanks !
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    Folks this is all great info! It's the sort of thing Jack was doing with the 'Tune of the Month' posts. Being new to the GJ rep, the kind of grille analysis posted here in this post is really useful. Maybe, this can be the start of a new series of 'Tune of the Month'.

    The biggest hurdle for many in 'thinking' through a tune for soling. Right now, I'm moving from just scales to more arpeggios, but I'm not tossing out scales entirely - just not depending on them alone for my soloing.

    So, please keep up the good work, I know many appreciate it.
  • Posts: 101
    Thanks ! I will post the correct final analysis of After you've gone tonight.
    About the scales and arpeggios, I know a friend that is playing only with scales but he uses it the same way that I use arpeggios. I think they are only 2 different way to look at the same thing.
    But manouche players have a tendency to play more with arpeggios than scales.
  • bluetrainbluetrain Finland✭✭✭ Cach, Epiphone Triumph, Gibson ES-300
    Posts: 156
    I want to say few thoughts about analysing harmonies. One way of analysing harmonies is to think about chord functions. For example if you have a dominant chord you can think where is it going. Typically dominant chords are resolving fourth up ie G7 to C. For example in the section where we have | G | B7 | Em7 | A7 | we can see that we have two dominant chords B7 and A7. G is the tonic so we call it I, Em7 is the third so we call it IIIm7, now B7 is a dominant chord and resolving to fourth up so we can call it V7 of IIIm7. A7 is a bit hard to explain because it doesn't resolve actually anywhere. So we could analyse these bars as:

    G: | Imaj7 | V7 of IIIm7 | IIIm7 | II7 |

    I hope it made any sense. For me it's easier to think about dominant chords as where they are resolving so when you're improvising you can think the same way of all the dominant chords and just choose the scale or arpeggios to full fill the tension you're looking for. Maybe I might choose B altered scale over B7 to create more tension or maybe I would think about C dimished arpeggio.
  • pmgpmg ATHERTON, CANew Dupont MD50R
    Posts: 90
    More on arpeggios versus scales:

    I recommend studying gypsy jazz waltzes to learn arpeggios. The waltzes are highly arpeggio oriented and tend to organize the notes and fingerings in very melodic ways that can be very useful when applying arpeggio ideas to straight ahead GJ tunes. I have been playing for over 40 years (mostly scales) and just recently began to appreciate how powerful arpeggios can be -- and also how to create pleasing variations useful simple techniques (trills, hammer ons, slides, etc.) and alternate fingerings.

    I always try and play at least a couple of waltzes in every jam session. Invariably, the better players can play them well - and those that "don't quite get it" with regular GJ tunes can't play these tunes (or not very well). Learn some waltzes and associated fingerings!!! Start with La Foule and Montaigne St Genevieve.

    If you post other tunes to analyze - please start a new thread.
    I'm always interested in jamming with experienced jazz and gypsy jazz players in the San Francisco - San Jose area. Drop me a line. Bass players welcome!
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