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Summertime: Introduction

 

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Summertime (Jazz)

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In this tutorial we will learn a jazz version of the George Gershwin standard, "Summertime".

This gem of a tune was written by Gershwin for his folk opera "Porgy and Bess". This song is regarded is a jazz standard, which means it is an important, well-known, widely played tune. Many jazz standards were originally from Broadway stage or Hollywood film musicals. Jazz musicians and performers often used the tunes of Tin Pan Alley songwriters (like Gershwin) as a way to showcase their skills in form of a popular song their listeners could understand.

The songs has been performed & recorded by a wide variety of singers and instrumental artists, in many different genres & styles from jazz and blues, to pop and rock.

In this tutorial we will perform the song as an instrumental jazz standard. We will learn the chords, and then play the melody of the song as a single note line. Next, we'll add some chord tones to our single note melody to flesh out the sound a little bit. We'll play those along with a backing track that has bass and drums to play in a trio instrumental setting. Finally, we'll learn a simple chord melody version of the song that you can play completely solo!