How to Choose a Jazz Fake Book

by Joe Walker, 1 Jun 2011, in Resources

My first jazz teacher, Bob Keller, just published The Joy of Fakebooks, a little guide on navigating the various features of all the different jazz fake books available today. (I wrote about Bob Keller's Jazz Page a couple years ago. He maintains a popular, growing list of organized links to helpful jazz resources.)

One of the most important lessons I've learned since studying jazz was to learn tunes. Building repertoire is great for knowledge and marketability, but all the most important musical lessons come from real music. Studying tunes is the best way to study theory. Since dedicating myself to studying tunes, I've accumulated several fake books, including Hal Leonard's Real Book Series and Chuck Sher's New Real Book Series. That's a lot of paper between those six books. There are digital options, but until you have a computer screen as large and portable as two opposing pages of a fake book thrown open on a music stand, I recommend investing in the physical realm.

By far, the most useful of the fake books I've owned has been Hal Leonard's Real Book (Sixth Edition). Every jazz jam I've attended has had at least one copy of this book (sometimes the pre-2004 illegal fifth edition) floating around. It's rare to see any other book, but there are other reasons to own one. In his article, Bob outlines several considerations like readability, self-study, and accuracy. He includes a spreadsheet of over 100 fake books with their various properties. (Given all my spreadsheeting habits, I can definitely nerd out on this.)

Once you've acquired a fake book or five, Bob and I highly recommend Seventh String's Fake Book Index. You can search any subset of fake books and play-alongs for different versions of the tune you want to study. Also check out the Rankings Indexes I created for the Real Book series.

Pop Chord Progressions

by Joe Walker, 26 May 2011, in Resources,Theory

During my recent month in Italy sans guitar, I took on a couple spreadsheet projects to keep my ears in shape and compile some useful musical data. My first project was a spreadsheet of Songs for Interval Recognition. My next was inspired by a street musician in Florence playing U2's "With or Without You". From a distance, I could hear the chord progression long before I recognized the song. During that time, I heard about 10 other songs simultaneously in my head over the same chords.

Linking Songs

It so happens that "With or Without You" and the several other songs I was hearing all use the "Axis of Awesome" progression: I V vi IV.

I've always been into thinking of other tunes with same progression when I'm writing or listening to four-chord-style pop music. Especially when I'm writing, I like to know what else is out there so I can consciously avoid it or take inspiration from it. Few things suck more than completing an original song before discovering that you subconsciously borrowed from existing music. (See the Coldplay-Satriani debacle.)

Compiling Data

So I started wondering, how many of these signature progressions are out there? In addition to the Axis of Awesome progression above, I hear a lot of I-vi-IV-V (the doo-wop progression), i-bVII-bVI-V (the Andalusian cadence), and I-bVII-IV-I. Just as with songs for recognizing intervals, the more real examples I can relate to each other, the easier it will be to hear them (and slight variations) again and again.

I began entering songs and chords into a spreadsheet with a column for each of the four chords. (This allows for two- and three-chord progressions as well.) I started with a handful of my old favorite songs from all the Albums in My Blood. I added everything I wrote, co-wrote, or covered in a performance. Of course I had to add everything from the Axis of Awesome video. I also used Heartwood Guitar's Songs Rob Knows and Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs of All Time for more ideas. (Many of these songs still sit idly in my spreadsheet as I've yet to investigate all their chords.)

I limited the progressions I included to 4-part repeating progressions. This excludes 8-part progressions like Pachelbel's Canon or "Hotel California". And I exclude progressions that don't at least almost repeat.

Here's the live spreadsheet.

If you have your own Google account, you can hit "File -> Make a copy..." and you'll have access to the entire thing to customize, improve, deface, etc. If not, you can hit "File -> Download as" and have your own offline version.

You'll notice several different worksheet tabs along the bottom: "Progressions" is where I enter all the raw data. I can sort it by any column. There are a few hidden columns doing extra work like allowing the chords to be sorted properly (not by alphabetical roman numeral). "Sorted" is a copy of the "Progressions" worksheet, automatically sorted by progression. "Popular" shows the most popular progressions with their tallies. "ProfileSorted" sorts all progressions by the chords included in each, independent of chord order. (The different progressions I-vi-IV-V and I-V-vi-IV have the same profile of I-IV-V-vi.) "ProfilePopular" shows the most popular chord profiles with their tallies. Poke around for a while, and leave a comment below if you have trouble making sense of it all.

The Spreadsheet

Here's a sample of the spreadsheet as it currently stands, sorted by progression.

Progression Song Section Recording Artist
I bVII Are You Gonna Be My Girl verse Jet
I bVII Balk verse Speechwriters LLC
I ii Keep it Together verse Guster
I ii Sunday Bloody Sunday prechorus U2
I ii IV Mayonaise intro Smashing Pumpkins
I bIII IV Purple Haze verse Jimi Hendrix
I IV bIII Ramble On (chorus) Led Zeppelin
I IV Beverly Hills verse Weezer
I IV Drive My Car verse The Beatles
I IV For What it's Worth verse Buffalo Springfield
I IV Highway To Hell chorus AC/DC
I IV Imagine verse John Lennon
I IV Like a Rolling Stone intro Bob Dylan
I IV Mulholland verse Blue Judy
I IV My Girl verse The Temptations
I IV Nobody's Baby verse Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
I IV Peaceful Easy Feeling verse The Eagles
I IV Ramble On verse Led Zeppelin
I IV Rebellion (Lies) chorus1 Arcade Fire
I IV Revolution verse The Beatles
I IV Satisfaction verse Rolling Stones
I IV The Joker chorus Steve Miller Band
I IV Window Screen chorus Blue Judy
I IV Window Screen chorus Blue Judy
I IV V I Got a Feelin' verse Billy Currington
I IV V River of Dreams verse Billy Joel
I IV bVII Crazy Little Thing Called Love verse Queen
I IV bVII Lola verse The Kinks
I IV bVII The Other Side verse Aerosmith
I V Over the Hills and Far Away intro Led Zeppelin
I bVI bVII All I Wanna Do chorus Sheryl Crow
I vi For the Boys verse Blue Judy
I vi Hey There Delilah verse Plain White T’s
I bVII IV Everyone Remember Your Name chorus Blue Judy
I bVII IV For the Boys bridge Blue Judy
I bVII IV Hey Hey What Can I Do chorus Led Zeppelin
I bVII IV It's a Long Way to the Top chorus AC/DC
I bVII Total Eclipse of the Heart verse2 Bonnie Tyler
I bVII Whole Lotta Love chorus Led Zeppelin
I ii iii IV For the Boys chorus Blue Judy
I ii iii IV Like a Rolling Stone verse Bob Dylan
I ii IV V I Got a Feelin' chorus Billy Currington
I ii IV V Young Americans chorus David Bowie
I ii vi IV Firework all Katy Perry
I ii vi IV Starlight verse Muse
I bIII IV I Are You Gonna Be My Girl chorus Jet
I III IV iv Creep all Radiohead
I III vi IV Don't Forget bridge Blue Judy
I III vi V Santeria verse Sublime
I iii ii V Such Great Heights (verse) The Postal Service
I iii IV V Crocodile Rock verse Elton John
I iii vi V And I'm Here verse Blue Judy
I IV I V Baby I Love You (verse) Aretha Franklin
I IV I V Brown Eyed Girl verse Van Morrison
I IV I vi Rebellion (Lies) verse Arcade Fire
I IV II V I Believe in a Thing Called Love chorus The Darkness
I IV ii A Long December chorus Counting Crows
I IV ii IV A Long December postchorus Counting Crows
I IV ii V Run-Around all Blues Traveler
I IV bIII bVI Smells Like Teen Spirit verse Nirvana
I IV V I Summertime Blues verse Eddie Cochran
I IV V IV Beverly Hills chorus Weezer
I IV V IV Louie Louie verse The Kingsmen
I IV V IV The Joker verse Steve Miller Band
I IV V IV Undone (The Sweater Song) all Weezer
I IV V IV Walking on Sunshine verse Katrina and the Waves
I IV V IV Wild Thing chorus The Troggs
I IV V IV You Shook Me All Night Long chorus AC/DC
I IV V Fool in the Rain breakdown Led Zeppelin
I IV V La Bamba verse Ritchie Valens
I IV V Like a Rolling Stone chorus Bob Dylan
I IV V vi Hey Ya (all) Outkast
I IV V bVII Up on Cripple Creek (chorus) The Band
I IV vi V The Lion Sleeps Tonight The Tokens
I IV bVII Real Thing chorus Blue Judy
I V I IV Satisfaction prechorus Rolling Stones
I V ii Go On chorus Blue Judy
I V ii IV All Star verse Smash Mouth
I V IV I Mulholland chorus Blue Judy
I V IV iii Such Great Heights (chorus) The Postal Service
I V IV Already Gone all The Eagles
I V IV V Wonderful Tonight verse Eric Clapton
I V I Yellow Submarine chorus The Beatles
I V vi IV Africa chorus Toto
I V vi IV Can You Feel the Love Tonight chorus Elton John
I V vi IV Don't Forget verse Blue Judy
I V vi IV Don't Stop Believin verse Journey
I V vi IV Forever Young chorus Alphaville
I V vi IV Happy Ending chorus Mika
I V vi IV I'm Yours all Jason Mraz
I V vi IV Land Down Under chorus Men at Work
I V vi IV Let it Be verse The Beatles
I V vi IV Life by the Drop verse Stevie Ray Vaughan
I V vi IV No Woman No Cry all Bob Marley
I V vi IV Poker Face chorus Lady Gaga
I V vi IV Save Tonight chorus Eagle Eye Cherry
I V vi IV Self Esteem verse The Offspring
I V vi IV Sex and Candy chorus Marcy Playground
I V vi IV She Will Be Loved chorus Maroon 5
I V vi IV Take on Me all A Ha
I V vi IV The Story all Brandi Carlile
I V vi IV Under the Bridge verse Red Hot Chili Peppers
I V vi IV Waltzing Matilda all Banjo Patterson
I V vi IV When I Come Around all Green Day
I V vi IV Wherever You Will Go chorus The Calling
I V vi IV With or Without You all U2
I V vi IV You're Beautiful verse James Blunt
I V vi IV Young and Empty verse Blue Judy
I V bVII IV Are You Gonna Go My Way bridge Lenny Kravitz
I V bVII IV Celebration Day chorus Led Zeppelin
I V bVII IV Hey Hey What Can I Do verse Led Zeppelin
I V bVII IV Middle of Nowhere chorus Hot Hot Heat
I v bVII I Times Like These (verse) Foo Fighters
I v bVII IV Middle of Nowhere verse Hot Hot Heat
I bVI bIII V Crazy (verse) Gnarls Barkley
I VI vi I Heart of Glass verse Blondie
I vi iii IV Where Is My Mind chorus Pixies
I vi iii V Amsterdam Guster
I vi IV I (If You're Wondering if I Want You to) I Want You To (verse) Weezer
I vi IV I Wake Up verse Arcade Fire
I vi IV Mayonaise verse Smashing Pumpkins
I vi IV V Crocodile Rock chorus Elton John
I vi IV V D'yer Mak'er verse Led Zeppelin
I vi IV V Earth Angel verse The Penguins
I vi IV V I Will Always Love You chorus Whitney Houston
I vi IV V Last Kiss all (Pearl Jam)
I vi IV V My Girl verse The Temptations
I vi IV V Total Eclipse of the Heart chorus Bonnie Tyler
I vi IV V Unchained Melody (verse) Al Green
I vi IV V Wonderful World Sam Cooke
I vi V IV Amsterdam postchorus Guster
I bVII bIII IV Dances with a Thunder all Blue Judy
I bVII IV I Born This Way chorus Lady Gaga
I bVII IV I Fortunate Son verse Creedence Clearwater Revival
I bVII IV I Hey Jude nah nah The Beatles
I bVII IV I Lit Up (verse) Buckcherry
I bVII IV I Sweet Child O Mine verse Guns N Roses
I bVII IV I Thank You verse Led Zeppelin
I bVII IV bIII Lit Up bridge Buckcherry
I bVII IV Sweet Home Alabama all Lynyrd Skynyrd
I bVII IV Times Like These (intro) Foo Fighters
I bVII IV V Champagne Supernova chorus Oasis
I bVII IV bVI For What it's Worth chorus Buffalo Springfield
I bVII IV bVI Mulholland bridge Blue Judy
i bVII Sultans of Swing intro Dire Straits
i bIII I Turn My Camera On verse Spoon
i bIII Little Lion Man verse Mumford and Sons
i bIII Soul Meets Body verse Death Cab for Cutie
i bIII iv Hurt verse Nine Inch Nails
i bIII bVII Crazy Train intro Ozzy Osbourne
i bIII bVII Honest Mistake prechorus Bravery
i IV Reptilia verse The Strokes
i v Grenade verse Bruno Mars
i bVI IV The Other Side chorus Aerosmith
i bVI iv Satellite intro Guster
i bVI Drive My Car chorus The Beatles
i bVI bVII Hey There Delilah prechorus Plain White T’s
i bVII Come As You Are verse Nirvana
i bVII Total Eclipse of the Heart verse1 Bonnie Tyler
i bIII IV bVI Babe I'm Gonna Leave You all Led Zeppelin
i bIII iv i Keep It Together verse2 Guster
i bIII iv V Deadwood verse Dirty Pretty Things
i bIII v bVII Silent Charades chorus Blue Judy
i bIII bVI iv Keep It Together verse Guster
i bIII bVI iv Satellite chorus2 Guster
i bIII bVI V Crazy chorus Gnarls Barkley
i bIII bVI V Dance Dance chorus Fall Out Boy
i bIII bVI V Seven Nation Army verse The White Stripes
i bIII bVI Satellite chorus1 Guster
i bIII bVI Sunday Bloody Sunday verse U2
i bIII bVII i I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor chorus Arctic Monkeys
i bIII bVII iv Breathe In chorus Blue Judy
i bIII bVII iv Honest Mistake verse Bravery
i bIII bVII Soul Meets Body chorus1 Death Cab for Cutie
i iv bVI V Back to Black verse Amy Winehouse
i V bVI bVII Go On chorus2 Blue Judy
i V bVII IV Steady As She Goes verse The Raconteurs
i V bVII V Crooked Teeth verse Death Cab for Cutie
i v bVI bIII And I'm Here chorus Blue Judy
i v bVI bIII Seventeen Years chorus Ratatat
i bVI bIII bVI Blankest Year verse Nada Surf
i bVI bIII bVII Building a Mystery chorus Sarah McLachlan
i bVI bIII bVII Bullet with Butterfly Wings chorus Smashing Pumpkins
i bVI bIII bVII Grenade chorus Bruno Mars
i bVI bIII bVII Honest Mistake chorus Bravery
i bVI bIII bVII Rebellion (Lies) chorus2 Arcade Fire
i bVI iv V Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt verse We Are Scientists
i bVI V Sultans of Swing (verse) Dire Straits
i bVI bVII i Eye of the Tiger verse Survivor
i bVI bVII Soul Meets Body chorus2 Death Cab for Cutie
i bVI bVII Sultans of Swing Dire Straits
i bVII bIII bVI Dance Dance bridge Fall Out Boy
i bVII iv Ice Cream chorus Sarah McLachlan
i bVII iv Satellite verse1 Guster
i bVII bVI V Hit the Road Jack all Ray Charles
i bVII bVI Jenny Was a Friend of Mine verse The Killers
i bVII bVI Mulholland solo Blue Judy
i bVII bVI Satellite verse2 Guster
i bVII bVI Stairway to Heaven solo Led Zeppelin
i bVII bVI bVII All Along The Watchtower Jimi Hendrix
i bVII bVI bVII Dance Dance verse Fall Out Boy
i bVII bVI bVII Don't Fear the Reaper Blue Oyster Cult
ii V I vi If I Could Fly chorus Joe Satriani
bIII IV I Can't Find My Way Home postchorus Blind Faith
bIII bVI i Stairway to Heaven verse Led Zeppelin
bIII bVII I Sunday Bloody Sunday postchorus U2
bIII bVII i Another Brick in the Wall chorus Pink Floyd
bIII bVII i Simple Man all Lynyrd Skynyrd
IV I ii III Hotel California chorus The Eagles
IV iii ii I Like a Rolling Stone prechorus Bob Dylan
IV I Baby I Love You (bridge) Aretha Franklin
IV I Earth Angel bridge The Penguins
IV I Heart Of Glass chorus Blondie
IV V I Cheeseburger in Paradise chorus Jimmy Buffett
IV V I Margaritaville chorus Jimmy Buffett
IV V I II The Wanton Song solo Led Zeppelin
IV V I III Imagine chorus John Lennon
IV V I vi Brown Eyed Girl chorus Van Morrison
IV V I vi Hey There Delilah bridge Plain White T’s
IV V I vi Viva La Vida all Coldplay
IV V I vi Wonderful Tonight chorus Eric Clapton
IV vi I Exploding Boy verse The Cure
iv bIII bVII Blankest Year chorus Nada Surf
V I ii V Yellow Submarine verse The Beatles
V IV I Voodoo Chile chorus Jimi Hendrix
v iv bIII i I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor verse Arctic Monkeys
bVI i bVI bIII Seventeen Years verse Ratatat
bVI bIII bVII IV Lit Up chorus Buckcherry
bVI IV I The Hand That Feeds (chorus) Nine Inch Nails
bVI bVII I Crazy Little Thing Called Love outro Queen
bVI bVII I Steady As She Goes postchorus The Raconteurs
bVI bVII i V Jenny Was a Friend of Mine verse The Killers
vi I V IV Keep It Together (bridge) Guster
vi II V I Crooked Teeth verse Death Cab for Cutie
vi II V I Rocky Racoon all The Beatles
vi ii IV I Fa Fa verse Guster
vi ii V I Island in the Sun chorus Weezer
vi III IV I Say it Ain't So verse Weezer
vi IV I All the Things You Know verse Blue Judy
vi IV I Balk chorus Speechwriters LLC
vi IV I Disarm verse Smashing Pumpkins
vi IV I Little Lion Man chorus Mumford and Sons
bVII ii I Times Like These (chorus) Foo Fighters
bVII IV I After All prechorus Blue Judy
bVII IV I It's a Long Way to the Top solo AC/DC

Suggestions?

Check the live spreadsheet, and you'll see I have hundreds more songs ready for my prying ears. Some will have progressions that fit the mold, some won't. What are some of your favorites that you don't see here? Leave a comment below, and thanks for checking it out!

Songs for Interval Recognition

by Joe Walker, 5 May 2011, in Resources

I mentioned last week that I'm spending a month in Italy without a guitar. My substitute obsession has been learning the Italian language, but I've made time for some spreadsheeting wildness as well. (See Counting Tunes at Jam Sessions for a taste of my ridiculous fascination.)

Songs for Intervals

The spreadsheet I have for you today is a chart of songs for interval recognition. The seed for this project came from the sirens running around the streets of Florence. Ambulances use a major 6th melodic interval, and the Carabinieri use a perfect 4th melodic interval. (And the echoing Doppler effect as they pass my apartment window is totally wicked!) I still remember my first guitar teacher showing me how to memorize the sound of an interval by superimposing the first two notes of "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean" over a major 6th. That's what I heard in my head during my first Florentine ambulance siren experience, but another one popped in there at the same time: "Take the 'A' Train". As I mulled over this new connection, I also heard the NBC theme and "All Blues", and I realized they all use the same scale degrees to form that interval: 5 up to 3. And I thought, wouldn't it be nice to distinguish between the different pairs of scale degrees that can create an interval? Yes. More on that below.

Chart Weaknesses

Search for interval recognition songs, and you'll find a parade of charts that offer a handful of well-known songs for each kind of interval, ascending and descending. The obvious drawback is that you're not familiar with all the named songs. Large intervals starting a melody are particularly hard to find, and I invariably see a lot of unfamiliar titles for anything larger than a perfect 5th. This chart by EarMaster helps out by allowing you to select a single song of your preference for each interval and create a custom chart for your own ears. They even link to YouTube clips of every song.

But even when I make my own chart, there's still something missing. I never see any mention of the scale degrees outlining the interval. For any given interval, I hear it differently depending on the context. For example, a descending minor 3rd occurs between the first two notes of "Oleo" on scale degrees 1 and 6, "Girl from Ipanema" on 2 and 7, "Frosty the Snowman" on 5 and 3, "Peter Gunn Theme" on b3 and 1, and "What Is This Thing Called Love?" on b7 and 5. They're all minor 3rds, but they come from different directions. A new one might trip you up if you're unfamiliar with its place in the key.

The Spreadsheet

So I started my own spreadsheet to keep track of only melodies I know and all the scale degrees they use. With no instruments at my disposal, I've identified intervals to 135 tunes so far. A few of the scale degrees are missing either for lack of a tonal center or because I couldn't figure it out by humming. And a few intervals don't have example tunes yet, as I haven't discovered any without an instrument. Like all my crazy spreadsheets, it's a work in progress.

View the complete live spreadsheet on Google Docs. The columns, in order, are the first scale degree of the interval, the second scale degree, direction, number of semitones, interval name, and song title. (The number of semitones is necessary for sorting everything, thereby grouping identical intervals together.) Along the bottom, you'll see three tabs: Master, Sorted, and Encode. Master is where I input all the data. Sorted is a copy of Master, sorted by interval size. Encode converts semitones to interval name.

My collection of songs will do you no good. Make your own copy of that spreadsheet. You can download it or copy to your own Google Docs account. Delete every song you don't recognize and add more that you do.

Below is a sample of the spreadsheet in its current state. Songs are grouped by interval size and direction, displaying starting scale degree, ending scale degree, and song title. Any suggestions? Hit the comments!

Ascending Minor 2nd

3 4 Blue Monk
3 4 I'll Remember April
3 4 Till There Was You
5 b6 Caravan
5 b6 How Insensitive (Insensatez)
7 1 There Is No Greater Love
Bye Bye Blackbird
Jaws Theme
Pink Panther Theme
What's New?

Descending Minor 2nd

1 7 Fly Me to the Moon
1 7 Joy to the World
1 7 On Green Dolphin Street
1 7 Solar
1 7 Stella by Starlight
3 b3 O Little Town of Bethlehem
4 3 Killer Joe
5 b5 Billie's Bounce
5 b5 Fur Elise

Ascending Major 2nd

1 2 Autumn Leaves
1 2 Doe, a Deer
1 2 Milestones
1 2 Mr. PC
1 2 My Funny Valentine
2 3 Body and Soul
5 6 Happy Birthday
5 6 I Got Rhythm
5 6 Just You, Just Me
5 6 Out of Nowhere
5 6 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
5 6 Silent Night
6 7 Woody 'n' You
There Will Never Be Another You

Descending Major 2nd

2 1 Yesterday (Beatles)
3 2 Autumn in New York
3 2 Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me
3 2 Figaro
3 2 Hot Crossed Buns
3 2 Just Friends
3 2 Mary Had a Little Lamb
3 2 On the Sunny Side of the Street
3 2 Three Blind Mice
5 4 Away in a Manger
5 4 Deck the Halls
5 4 Don't Get Around Much Anymore
5 4 Lullaby of Birdland
5 4 Tune Up
5 4 Whistle While You Work
6 5 Freddie Freeloader
6 5 Satin Doll

Ascending Minor 3rd

1 b3 Comin' Home Baby
1 b3 Greensleeves
1 b3 It Don't Mean a Thing
1 b3 Moanin'
1 b3 Stolen Moments
1 b3 Take Five
3 5 Cherokee
3 5 O Canada
5 b7 Blue Train
6 1 Wave

Descending Minor 3rd

1 6 I Mean You
1 6 Love for Sale
1 6 Oleo
2 7 Garota de Ipanema
5 3 Blue Rondo Ala Turk
5 3 Frosty the Snowman
5 3 Hey Jude
5 3 Misty
5 3 S Wonderful!
5 3 Star-Spangled Banner
b3 1 Peter Gunn Theme
b7 5 What is this Thing Called Love?
Five Hundred Miles High

Ascending Major 3rd

1 3 I Can't Get Started
1 3 Kum Ba Yah
1 3 Marines' Hymn
1 3 They Can't Take That Away from Me
1 3 When the Saints Go Marching In

Descending Major 3rd

3 1 Aguas de Marco
3 1 Swing Low Sweet Chariot
3 1 Tenor Madness
5 b3 Beethoven's Fifth
5 b3 Nature Boy
5 b3 Summertime
5 b3 Yesterdays
7 5 In a Mellow Tone
Giant Steps

Ascending Perfect 4th

1 4 All the Things You Are
5 1 Amazing Grace
5 1 Auld Lang Syne
5 1 Bemsha Swing
5 1 C Jam Blues
5 1 Hark the Herald
5 1 Here Comes the Bride
5 1 How High the Moon
5 1 Maiden Voyage
5 1 Nearness of You, The
5 1 Nostalgia in Times Square
5 1 Now's the Time
5 1 O Christmas Tree
5 1 Round Midnight
5 1 Some Day My Prince Will Come
5 1 Song for My Father
5 1 St. Thomas
5 1 Straight No Chaser
5 1 We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Descending Perfect 4th

1 5 All of Me
1 5 I've Been Working on the Railroad
1 5 O Come All Ye Faithful
1 5 Shave and a Haircut
1 5 Softly as in a Morning Sunrise
E.S.P.

Ascending Tritone

1 b5 Maria (West Side Story)
1 b5 The Simpsons Theme

Ascending Perfect 5th

1 5 2001 Space Odyssey Theme
1 5 Angel Eyes
1 5 Blackbird (Beatles)
1 5 My Favorite Things
1 5 Top Gun Theme
1 5 Twinkle Twinkle

Descending Perfect 5th

5 1 Flintstones Theme
5 1 Seven Steps to Heaven
5 1 Way You Look Tonight, The

Ascending Minor 6th

3 1 In My Life (Beatles)
3 1 Soul Man

Ascending Major 6th

5 3 All Blues
5 3 Days of Wine and Roses
5 3 My Bonnie
5 3 NBC Theme
5 3 Speak Low
5 3 Take the "A" Train

Descending Major 6th

3 5 Music of the Night, The

Ascending Minor 7th

1 b7 I Feel Free

Ascending Major 7th

1 7 Ceora

Ascending Octave

1 1 Alice in Wonderland
1 1 Over the Rainbow

Descending Octave

1 1 Willow Weep for Me

I'm Moving to Seattle!

by Joe Walker, 24 Mar 2011, in Goals

I grew up near Seattle. In 2001, I moved to Southern California to attend college, and I've been down here ever since. I've lived in Claremont, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and currently San Diego. I've had a yearning to move back to the Northwest for a long time, but various endeavors (work, music, school) have kept me in the sunshine. I found out last week, thanks to my awesome wife, that we'll be moving to Seattle in May.

We knew when I started music school that I'd finish at the same time she'd finish medical school. But the problem with finishing med school is that you don't know where you're headed next until right before you graduate. So our fate was to be revealed on March 17, and we could have been assigned to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, or Boston. Up to that day, we were in limbo, waiting to make any long term plans. The results came in for Seattle, and we were thrilled. We've been dancing and celebrating every day. Said awesome wife also grew up near Seattle. We even attended the same high school. So both of us will have plenty of family and old friends around.

Guitar Lessons

My first professional goal after arriving in Seattle will be to set up a teaching business. I've been teaching a few students here and there since I've been in San Diego, but I couldn't pursue it full time on top of school. For the near future, I see private lessons as my primary musical income source. I recently finished Making Money Teaching Music, a great guide to thriving in the music teaching business, and I've been mindful of the example set by Rob at Heartwood Guitar. Rob maintains a top-notch teaching website, and he's based in Seattle too.

To this end, I've had plans for a while to unveil another website/blog of my own making. Rather than documenting my own development, as I do here at From the Woodshed, the new site will focus on practical advice for guitarists, and it will be the main hub for my teaching business. More on that later.

Seattle's Music Scene

It's peculiar that I never paid attention to Seattle's music scene while I lived nearby. Granted, I was just a kid, and I'd only been a musician myself for a couple years, but the city has consistently fostered a vibrant musical community for many decades. I can't wait to plug myself into the scene, discover all the local talent, and add my own noise to the mix.

In addition to attending all the shows I can afford to, I'd love to play out myself as much as possible, but I have no expectations to become a gigging machine. Gigs can be hard to find when you don't know anyone. I'll probably start by playing at jams and surfing craigslist for people to meet. I'll also see about jamming with a few Seattle musicians I happened to meet down here, namely Jason Parker of One Working Musician, and Cameron Peace, who taught at the National Guitar Workshop last year.

Giant Networking Spreadsheet

I live for giant spreadsheets. (Check out my jazz repertoire list.) I started one a few years ago for Seattle musicians, assuming I'd eventually move there. When it became clear that it was far from a sure thing, I forgot about it. But now that it is a sure thing, that spreadsheet will be indispensable. I have 132 names and counting. I keep track of name, instrument(s), and little notes on where I heard of them or how they're involved in the music scene.

I started adding names from a little Internet research, initially focusing on jazz. The Seattle Jazz Scene, operated by drummer Matt Jorgensen, has been updated daily with concert schedules, interviews, and reviews since 2007. A cursory glance over the site gave me dozens of names for my list. I'll be spending a lot of time on this site. Another easy name-binge came from the Seattle Jazz Guitar Collective and the Seattle Jazz Guitar Society. (I will learn the difference at some point.)

Ever the flag-waiver, Jason Parker (mentioned above) has been running a podcast for several months with trombonist David Marriott, Jr. called Jazz Now Seattle. Each weekly episode features a track from about five locally-grown jazz albums. I confess that until today, while I've been checking out the album recommendations, I hadn't listened to any of the full podcasts. I'm listening to the first two right now, taking notes on every player involved for exponential spreadsheet expansion.

Look Me Up

If you're in Seattle yourself or you have friends in the area, leave a comment; I'd love to meet up.

Shelle Blue

by Joe Walker, 22 Nov 2010, in Performances

I've officially played my first blues gigs. Took me long enough. Blues was my main bag since about a year after I picked up the guitar. I was heavy into SRV, Buddy Guy, BB King, Albert King, etc. in high school. I've played plenty of rock and a handful of jazz gigs, but my first experience with a real blues band was not until one of my classmates, Shelle Blue, asked me to sit in with her band at House of Blues last month. I played a couple sets of mostly straight-ahead blues with a few tricky ones in there. I learned a few of the tunes ahead of time, but the rest was by ear with Shelle's main guitarist leading the charge.

I had a blast at the gig, and I was looking forward to learning the rest of her tunes so I could sub, sit in, or work as her second guitarist as the case may be. A few days later, Shelle called and asked me to play a full gig that weekend. I put my spreadsheeting skills to work at full steam (much like I've done with jazz standards), making notes on all 40 tunes I needed to get in my head and fingers. I learned my butt off every night, adding little comments to my growing cheat sheet, and over the following week, I played multi-set shows with Shelle's group at Last Call, Patrick's II, and Vinz Wine Bar.

It's great to be playing the blues again. (I've been focused on jazz and Zeppelin lately.) Even better to get paid to do it. After a long break from the genre, other than Page's blues influence, it still feels like my core strength on the instrument. And I'm playing all kinds of stuff I never would have without the past few years of jazz studying. Can't wait to do it again.

If you're near San Diego, check out Shelle Blue's website for upcoming gigs. She's a hell of a singer.

Here's a list of the songs I've learned (some still pending):

5-10-15 Hours
A Quitter Never Wins
Bags Groove
Big Boss Man
Born Under a Bad Sign
Chain of Fools
Checkin' Up on My Baby
Chitlins Con Carne
Cissy Strut
Cleo's Back
Cold Duck Time
Cold Shot
Cold Sweat
Don't Touch Me
Down Home Blues
Dr. Feelgood
Early in the Morning
Empty Arms
Europa
Every Day I Have the Blues
Framed
Further On up the Road
Got my Mojo Workin'
Greedy Man
Hard to Handle
Hey Bartender
I Got You (I Feel Good)
I'm Tore Down
If You Love Me Like You Say
If You Should Lose Me
It's Your Thing
Just a Little Bit
Kansas City
Killer Joe
Knock on Wood
Lion's Den
Little by Little
Little Wing
Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean
Matchbox
Mustang Sally
Night Time Is the Right Time
Okie Dokie Stomp
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss
Playin' with My Friends
Pride and Joy
Reconsider Baby
Shaky Ground
She's into Something
Shotgun
Something You Got
Stole My Heart
T-Bone Shuffle
Take Out Some Insurance
Tell Mama
Tequila
Those Bad Things
W.O.M.A.N.
Walkin' the Dog
Wang Dang Doodle
Watermelon Man
You Don't Love Me

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