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First Melody


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St. Louis Blues

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The song "St. Louis Blues" was written by W. C. Handy, and is now in the public domain. Handy was one of the first black composers that formalized blues style music by actual composing, scoring and publishing songs in that style.

A number of his songs are now considered classics and standards of the jazz repertoire; part of the Great American Songbook. He was not only one of the first (if not the first ever) formal, official black, blues song composer and publisher but also one of the very best!

In this tutorial I am going to explore his tune, "St. Louis Blues", by breaking it down into a simple melody, and then building it back up into a full solo jazz guitar chord melody arrangement. I start by breaking down the overall structure of the tune. It is in 2 sections or parts. The first is in E minor; the second, more bluesy, is in E major.

In this lesson I demonstrate the single note melody of the first section of "St. Louis Blues". The melody is very simple. This helps a lot if you are learning how to do this Chord Melody approach because there is not a bunch of info to keep track of.

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