Monday, November 5, 2012

I still struggle with a practice routine: what is the best way to spend my limited time? The best advice I ever received was simple: learn tunes, lots of them, with the right changes and melody. To make the advice more guitar-specific, I have decided (though not fully committed) to  learning the melody in at least two different positions on the neck. And learning it an octave up or down would probably be useful too. There aren't many lists of tunes to start learning, so below is my modest contribution. The thirty songs below represent the first batch of tunes I want to have under my fingers. I created the list from what I see get called at jam sessions and what musicians tend to record. Only some of these I have memorized. A few slip away as soon as I think I have a firm grip on them (Jobim's "Desafinado," for one). I tried to create a mix of standards and jazz "classics" such as "Blue Bossa" and "All Blues." I also wanted to make sure there were  some Monk and Ellington tunes. And then there are blues' heads and rhythm changes' heads--those are listed at the end. In the end the list is just a start--I'll add more tunes in future installments.

Tunes for Memorization: Part I

  1. All Blues
  2. All of Me
  3. All of You
  4. All The Things You Are 
  5. Alone Together
  6. A Night in Tunisia
  7. Autumn Leaves
  8. Caravan
  9. Cherokee
  10. Desafinado
  11. Footprints
  12. Four
  13. Giant Steps
  14. I'll Remember April
  15. In Walked Bud
  16. Just Friends
  17. Milestones (the '58 version)
  18. My Funny Valentine
  19. Night and Day
  20. Night in Tunisia
  21. On Green Dolphin Street
  22. Stella By Starlight
  23. Scrapple from the Apple
  24. Softly as in a morning sunrise
  25. Solar
  26. St. Thomas 
  27. Take the A-Train
  28. There Will Never Be Another You
  29. What is this thing called love? 
  30. Yesterdays
Blues heads: Straight No Chaser, Blue Monk, Tenor Madness
Rhythm heads: Oleo, Anthropology, Cottontail

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