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How to Play All the Things You Are On Guitar

New to Jazz Guitar? Visit the Beginner's Guide to Jazz Guitar. And Learn to Play Jazz Guitar Today! This article is an installment in my Anatomy of a Tune series, where I take famous Standards and break them down from a specific standpoint such as improvisation, chord melody, comping, arranging or phrasing/rhythm. In this article, we will be breaking down All the Things you Are on guitar from the perspective of a chord melody arrangement and comping with basic chord subs. “All the Things You Are” is one of the most popular standards in jazz, and a must learn for any jazz guitarist. Since most of our responsibility in any ensemble is to provide harmonic material for intros, chord melodies and comping, this is a great tune to dig into when exploring different aspects of these concepts. In the following article we will analyze both the harmonic progression and intervallic structure of the melody, as well as use this information to build a simple counterpoint line, chord melody and comping approach to the tune. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dig in to All The Things You Are on Guitar! Have a question or comment on this lesson? Visit the ATTYA Analysis thread at the MWG Forum.

All the Things You Are on Guitar Analysis

Before we dive in to building a chord melody and working with some comping on All The Things You Are, let’s check out the harmonic progression itself. Because this tune moves into a number of different keys, I’ve labeled the keys on top of the staff, over the chord symbols, and then the Roman numeral analysis is below the staff, underneath the melody. You will notice that the progression for the first 8 bars, in the keys of Ab major and C major, is the exact same progression as the second 8 bars, though this time, the chords are in the keys of Eb and G major.

You can use this information to help you memorize the chord progression. These chords. and then transpose it to the new keys for the next 8 bars. they would be worth practicing in 12 keys and in multiple tempos from both a comping and improvising standpoint. especially the first three. Besides the iim7-V7-Imaj7 progression that make up the entire B section. as you will encounter these progressions in many other songs. The tune is divided into 4 section. . Here. which leads to the last iim7-V7-Imaj7 turnaround of the tune. you have IVmaj7-ivm7-iiim7-biiidim7. This progression. are very common in the jazz repertoire. so you might want to spend some time and practice comping and improvising over this progression in 12 keys and at different tempos. but also during your improvisation as you can create a line over the first 8 bars. as well as the last three bars of each A section. there is a very interesting group of chords in bars 29-32. Here are the sections: A – Bars 1-8 A2 – Bars 9-16 B – Bars 17-24 A3 – Bars 25 to End Some key moments to check out. the first three have 8 bars each while the last section has 12 bars. This will allow you to approach the first half of the tune in a melodic fashion. so again. can be found in many other tunes in the Standard jazz repertoire. are the first five bars. or parts of it. vi-ii-V-I-IV. developing a motivic based phrase that you can later build into lines and more intricate soloing.


stays in place to become the 7th of the next chord. moves down by half-step to become the 3rd of Eb7. As well. the 3rd from one chord will stay in place to become the 7th of the next chord. You can see this in the melody line between bars 2 and 3. where the 7th of Bbm7. Notice that. as well as use this for the basis of any chord melody that you want to work out over All The Things You Are. Ab. is an important tool for any improviser.All The Things You Are Intervallic Analysis With an understanding of how the chords and key centers work for All The Things You Are on Guitar. we’ll now dive into the melody line of the tune. This type of voice leading. Here is where you are going to be able to identify patterns in the interval structure of the melody. using 3rd and 7ths to create melody lines and melodic phrases. Besides a few instances. Abmaj7. Notice how many times the melody line uses chord tones. that same G. mostly 2nds and 4ths. in many progressions. the melody is largely made up of 3rds and 7ths. These two notes are often referred to as “guide tones” as they are used by compers and improvisers to outline the harmony of a given piece using voice leading. the 3rd of Eb7. G. or the 7th of one chord will move down by a half-step to become the 3rd of the next chord. .

or any tune. this also makes it easy to build a chord melody arrangement. from memory. try starting with Drop2 and then Drop 3 chords. You will be surprised how clearly you can outline the harmonic progression while only using two notes in your lines.So. it is always good practice to play the 3rds and 7ths of each chord. you’ll notice how naturally these shapes fit with the melody line. and when you can do that improvise lines using only those notes for each chord. as both of these intervals will be at the top of many common Drop 2 and Drop 3 chord shapes. Since the melody is largely made up of 3rds and 7ths. making it the perfect vehicle for a chord melody on the guitar. but if you are ready to dig into developing your own chord melody for ATTYA. More on this later. when learning this. .


This exercise will also give you a framework for “filling in the blanks” in between the melody and bassline to form a nice-sounding chord melody arrangement that didn’t take a lot of struggle to work out. and then memorize it. to get ready for a chord melody is to add a simple bassline made up of tonic notes below the melody line. that’s perfectly fine. if you want to challenge yourself further. I’ve written out the first part of the tune in this manner below. Both methods are perfectly acceptable. you can start to physically see how the melody notes relate to the root note of each chord. but could also be played on the 4th string in that position. Or. so once you have worked through this section and gotten the gist of the exercise. so go with whatever one feels more comfortable to you at this point in your development. you might want to try working out the bassmelody arrangement for the rest of the tune without looking at the lead sheet. such as the Bb in bar 2 which is played on the 6th string in my example.All The Things You Are Melody With Bassline One of the exercises that I love to do. and to teach to my students. If you want to write out the melody with the bass notes below first. You will notice that there are times when two bass notes seem like legitimate fingerings. . as well as begin to hear how the root and melody line sound against each other. By doing so. work through the rest of the tune on your own in this manner.

as one might work with just the bass and melody alone. which you’ll see in the next section. . as is the case in this example.When you come to moments like these. it’s best to at least explore both options. but when you go to add in some extra notes to form a chord melody the stretch is too big.

The first approach is to look at the melody line and bass together. Just find those two notes in that position. . in this case it is C and Eb. then simply insert a Drop 2. As an example. yet cool sounding chord melody arrangement. Eventually it would be good to be able to use both approaches. Drop 2 chords work great with this melody. Drop 3 or Drop 2 and 4 chord that fits that position. you can add in a few notes between these outer voices to form a simple. Look at what note is in the melody. and voila. Then. as they can be useful in different situations outside of AATYA. as well as the bass notes that fit below each chord in the tune. so when you look at my example you’ll notice that I pretty much just stuck to those for my arrangement. so it’s not for everyone. so having both under your fingers is a plus in the long run. and then add that to the bass note. you’ve got a chord shape that you can use in your arrangement. or the whole tune if you are feeling ambitious. use these concepts to create a chord melody of your own for the rest of the piece. say the Ab (3rd) in the first bar. This second way is a bit more in-depth as far as theory goes. check it out. As we discussed earlier. You can do this in two different ways. and after you’ve explore the two options. the Root (F). figure out what notes are missing to build a chord. both of which are valid depending on which one you chose. add them to the bass note and melody. I have written out the first part of the tune as a chord melody arrangement. the 5th and 7th.All The Things You Are Basic Chord Melody Now that you have learned the melody line. The second way to work out the chord melody once you have the melody line and bass notes in place is to do it theoretically.

Bassline with Half-Step Approaches One of the ways I like to spice up the changes to All The Things You Are on Guitar is to add half-step approaches before each chord in the progression. .

only this time I’ve included the approach chords in there as well. and it was a technique he used in his comping and soloing. When you can do that. This is a good place to start.Now. try working out the rest of the tune using the same approach on your own. the chords Fm7-Bbm7 will now become Fm7 Bm7-Bbm7. and the notes start to settle in your ears a bit. as we looked at earlier. this is for the purpose of learning the concept. causing clashes with the melody that take time to get used to. as for some people these notes can sound a bit outside the normal harmony. So. Then. adding a half-step approach above the next chord. Joe liked this approach a lot. . just approach each new chord with a chord of the same quality a half-step above the root of that chord. you start to get a cool Joe Pass vibe in your playing. Try this approach out over the bassline in my example. then move on to the next exercise in the article. You’ll find that when you do this for a few bars in a row. comping or even improvising. just the ones you think fit the moment and that can be used to add interest to your chord melody. so when you get to actually performing the tune you don’t have to include all of these subs in your playing. The concept is fairly simple. I’ve written out the melody line along with the bass notes.

. Again. Here is how the first half of the tune would look from a comping perspective using this concept.Comping with Half-Step Approaches As well as using the half-step approach with basslines. you can also do this with comping. Work through the rest of the tune in this way. let you ears guide you as to when it is appropriate to insert these chords. and when it’s better to just stick to the original harmony. then when it comes time to take it to a jam session or gig. using half-step approaches before each chord. this is just an exercise.

Whenever you have a tonic chord. Cm7. After you have learned it here.All The Things You Are on Guitar Turnaround The last thing we’ll look at with All The Things You Are is a very cool little turnaround progression that was shown to me by my first jazz guitar teacher Nick Di Tomasso. you can insert a walk up and walk down between those two chords. in this case Cmaj7. It’s a great sounding way to add more movement to static tonic chords. try and find other tunes you know or are working on that you can insert these chords into. Here is how this progression fits into bars 7 and 8 of All The Things You Are. . and allows you to lead into the next chord rather than just jump there from the previous tonic major. The concept is fairly simple. that moves to a tonic minor chord a few bars later.

the interval structure of a melody.Check out the exercises above over this tune. Being able to analyze a harmonic progression. then take them to other tunes you are working on. as well as create a simple bass-melody counterpoint and chord melody arrangement are all great skills to have for any jazz guitarist. Return to the Anatomy of a Tune Homepage . Do you have a question about All The Things You Are on Guitar? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.