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Chord Progression


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Summertime (Jazz)

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The chord progression in this tune is very basic and that makes the tune look deceptively simple. Because it's a jazz tune there are extended chords, but the basic progression is very straight forward.

The form is also very simple. It's a 16 bar progression that repeats twice. There's no bridge or chorus, there's just one section, which we'll call a verse and it repeats. Gershwin's intention was to write a simple blues tune as a setting for his musical story.

As we'll see the melody is also very simple, often relying on the simple minor pentatonic scale. But, the extended harmony chords that Gershwin wrote combined with the simple melody gives the tune a very powerful, haunting, melancholy sound. We'll play the chords along with the backing track in order to get a sense of the song form. This is a great way to get an overall sense of a song before you ramp up to learning the melody and more advanced ways to play it.

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