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Thread: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

  1. #1
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    Default Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    I'm getting back into playing mandolin but more into jazz now that bluegrass. I'm working through one of the books on chording and finding lead sheets for those tunes (if you look hard enough, you can find anything online). For learning lead, rather than trying to improvise off the chord progression, I'm learning the melodies really well, then embellishing with scale notes, arpegios, etc.

    I've tried to improvise blues from the various "blues scales" but kinda get lost sometimes. I thought it might be good to find some lead sheets to jazz blues tunes, start with them, and then expand.

    So can anyone recommend any lead sheets for Blues / Jazz Blues tunes to start with?

    -K

    PS

    I kinda think everyone can play blues a little bit but if they don't learn tunes, everything just sounds like their blues. So, some guy named Bob plays blues but everything he plays just sounds like Bob Blues. I once heard someone describe good blues playing in that if you heard any two bars of a blues song, you would know it was that blues song, not just any blues song. That's why I'd like to start from some lead sheets.
    "Dust off those rusty strings just one more time. Gonna make em shine!" -Robert Hunter

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    ...
    Last edited by atsunrise; Jul-15-2019 at 9:43am.

  4. #3
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    Quote Originally Posted by kvk View Post
    I'm getting back into playing mandolin but more into jazz now that bluegrass. I'm working through one of the books on chording and finding lead sheets for those tunes (if you look hard enough, you can find anything online). For learning lead, rather than trying to improvise off the chord progression, I'm learning the melodies really well, then embellishing with scale notes, arpeggios, etc.

    I've tried to improvise blues from the various "blues scales" but kinda get lost sometimes. .
    Perhaps it would be better to improvise off of the chord changes.

    Anyway here is a link to jazz fakebooks:

    https://www.swiss-jazz.ch/partitions-real-book.htm

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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    https://www.soundslice.com/store/jazz-mandolin-chords/

    not lead sheets, but exploration of chordal accompaniment for standard swing/jazz progressions

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    https://www.soundslice.com/store/jaz...ines-mandolin/

    not lead sheets, but finding fretboard routes for playing the changes in well known swing/jazz forms. sample solos included

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  9. #6
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    I've found it helpful to pull up videos of musicians jamming (e.g., Clapton/Marsallis), and either follow or respond to what they're doing. It doesn't matter what instruments they play, I just follow the music.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  10. #7
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    The constant question or tension between learning patterns and learning melodies.

    People respond individually, and some are like me, in that I can’t bring myself to work through catalogs of riffs. What worked for me was learning the tunes, as those tunes are built from the riffs and patterns we use in other tunes, and in improvising.

    Assuming we are not restricting ourselves to the vocal-based Delta and Chicago blues, which are less about riffs than about bass lines and kicks behind the song, like “Born Under a Bad Sign”, it is jazz blues that offers instrumental satisfaction.

    A few I have learned from include:

    All Blues (Miles Davis, in G)
    Billie’s Bounce (Charlie Parker, in F)
    Bag’s Groove (Milt Jackson, in F)
    Now’s The Time (Charlie Parker, in F)
    Chitlins Con Carne (Kenny Burrell, in C minor)
    Blue Train (John Coltrane, in Eb)
    Blue Monk (Thelonius Monk, in Bb)
    Birk’s Works (should be Birks’, but that is the spelling in Real Book— Dizzy Gillespie, in F minor)
    Mr. P.C. (John Coltrane, in C minor)
    Sandu (Clifford Brown, in Eb)
    Straight, No Chaser (Thelonius Monk, in F)
    Tenor Madness (Sonny Rollins, in Bb)
    Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (Duke Ellington, in F)

    Plenty of flat keys, which will be good training. Transpositions to other keys can be found, but horns will want to use original keys.
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    The constant question or tension between learning patterns and learning melodies.

    People respond individually, and some are like me, in that I can’t bring myself to work through catalogs of riffs. What worked for me was learning the tunes, as those tunes are built from the riffs and patterns we use in other tunes, and in improvising.

    Assuming we are not restricting ourselves to the vocal-based Delta and Chicago blues, which are less about riffs than about bass lines and kicks behind the song, like “Born Under a Bad Sign”, it is jazz blues that offers instrumental satisfaction.

    A few I have learned from include:

    All Blues (Miles Davis, in G)
    Billie’s Bounce (Charlie Parker, in F)
    Bag’s Groove (Milt Jackson, in F)
    Now’s The Time (Charlie Parker, in F)
    Chitlins Con Carne (Kenny Burrell, in C minor)
    Blue Train (John Coltrane, in Eb)
    Blue Monk (Thelonius Monk, in Bb)
    Birk’s Works (should be Birks’, but that is the spelling in Real Book— Dizzy Gillespie, in F minor)
    Mr. P.C. (John Coltrane, in C minor)
    Sandu (Clifford Brown, in Eb)
    Straight, No Chaser (Thelonius Monk, in F)
    Tenor Madness (Sonny Rollins, in Bb)
    Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (Duke Ellington, in F)

    Plenty of flat keys, which will be good training. Transpositions to other keys can be found, but horns will want to use original keys.
    Thanks for the suggestions; I'll look some of those up. (Totally comfortable with the horns keys, F and Bb are two of my favorite. I tend to play tunes in the fiddle keys with open strings but like playing jazz melodies with all closed strings. F and Bb work really nice starting on the 3rd fret.)
    "Dust off those rusty strings just one more time. Gonna make em shine!" -Robert Hunter

  13. #9
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Perhaps it would be better to improvise off of the chord changes.

    Anyway here is a link to jazz fakebooks:

    https://www.swiss-jazz.ch/partitions-real-book.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stiernberg View Post
    https://www.soundslice.com/store/jazz-mandolin-chords/

    not lead sheets, but exploration of chordal accompaniment for standard swing/jazz progressions
    Absolutely! Know your chords, know your melody.

    And while you´re at it find some room to be educated by Carol Keye:

    Olaf

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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    Now's The Time and Blues in the Closet are very easy melodies. Also don't forget Minor Blues. Blue Train is an easy melody to play.
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  17. #11
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    One of the most simple melodies is the head to C-Jam Blues (Basie); can be used as a jumping off point for many possibilities!

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  19. #12
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend some beginner Blues / Jazz Blues Lead Sheets

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Anyway here is a link to jazz fakebooks:

    https://www.swiss-jazz.ch/partitions-real-book.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post

    All Blues (Miles Davis, in G)
    Billie’s Bounce (Charlie Parker, in F)
    Bag’s Groove (Milt Jackson, in F)
    Now’s The Time (Charlie Parker, in F)
    Chitlins Con Carne (Kenny Burrell, in C minor)
    Blue Train (John Coltrane, in Eb)
    Blue Monk (Thelonius Monk, in Bb)
    Birk’s Works (should be Birks’, but that is the spelling in Real Book— Dizzy Gillespie, in F minor)
    Mr. P.C. (John Coltrane, in C minor)
    Sandu (Clifford Brown, in Eb)
    Straight, No Chaser (Thelonius Monk, in F)
    Tenor Madness (Sonny Rollins, in Bb)
    Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (Duke Ellington, in F)

    Plenty of flat keys, which will be good training. Transpositions to other keys can be found, but horns will want to use original keys.
    Almost all those tunes are in the links I posted. Also includes Bb and Eb books for other key versions of tunes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    Absolutely! Know your chords, know your melody.

    And while you´re at it find some room to be educated by Carol Keye:

    Pay attention to her ideas about chord arpeggios and chord tones .

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by John Soper View Post
    One of the most simple melodies is the head to C-Jam Blues (Basie); can be used as a jumping off point for many possibilities!
    C Jam is an Ellington tune.


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