Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Ten jazz tunes to learn

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

hobogal - Posted - 03/07/2020:  07:35:36

I watched this video of a jazz guitarist recommending ten 'must know' tunes to learn.  I like that he explains why they are good ones for a beginner in terms of learning scales, chords, form.  It got me thinking, what tunes would you recommend to help a beginner progress (rather than 'most popular') and learn more about playing jazz.

If you don't want to watch it through, the list is:

Take the A Train

Cantaloupe Island

Satin Doll

The Blues (12 Bar Blues form)

Blue Bossa

Autumn Leaves




All of Me

Edited by - hobogal on 03/07/2020 07:36:26

L50EF15 - Posted - 03/07/2020:  14:56:14

Good list! Thanks for sharing.

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 03/07/2020:  18:28:41

Carrie, I think any list Jens puts together is going to be a well thought out collection of tunes.
There’s another instructor who said there are just three songs that can teach you a lot about jazz, Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa and one other that I’ve forgotten. If you took a song such as Autumn Leaves and learn it in all 12 keys (like you are supposed to do) that alone would be an education.

hobogal - Posted - 03/08/2020:  00:34:39

Thanks guys. Yes, I recall that Blue Bossa was a tune of the month here and that each banjoist took a different key to play it in.

northernbelle - Posted - 03/08/2020:  13:09:58

Autumn leaves is based on the "Circle of 5ths" and is a relatively easy way to hear that progression, hence it's value and being valued by so many instructors.
Plus it's gorgeous.
Here's a nice slow version, that's actually my
Crank it up, close yer eyes and then watch the video 2nd, would be my recommendation.

Dgbectrum - Posted - 03/08/2020:  18:40:34

Pardon, allow me to link this version

hobogal - Posted - 03/09/2020:  10:39:53

Thanks for the video links - yes, it is a beautiful song and seems to be a 'must-know'.
Any tunes that you would recommend that aren't on the list?

parlour player - Posted - 03/09/2020:  14:59:24

I am currently using the book TRAD JAZZ for Tenor Banjo by Dick Sheridan
I highly recommend this book .

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 03/09/2020:  19:43:20

Yeah, IMHO the banjo lends itself much better to traditional jazz. Some of the tunes listed above would sound pretty weird on the banjo.

I got a chuckle out of seeing Miles Davis’ “Solar” on the list... just imagining Miles’ reaction to hearing his tune played on the banjo...

pearcemusic - Posted - 03/14/2020:  18:47:59

Hey Carrie ... that’s a great list ... and Miles sounds great on the banjo. I have tons of videos teaching some of the tunes on ur list and others. BUT there is a GREAT jazz teacher Named Brent Vaardstra who does a podcast and website/YouTube presence called appropriately “Learn Jazz Standards”. He is a guitar player but teaches from a point of view that is applicable to ANY musician. I’d highly recommend you find the podcast if u like to listen to them. 

pearcemusic - Posted - 03/14/2020:  18:56:55

Autumn leaves .... not a study of the circle of 5ths but more a lesson to show how a major 2-5 and a minor 2-5 have connections

hobogal - Posted - 03/15/2020:  09:36:49

Great videos, Doub - and thanks for recommending the podcast/Learn Jazz Standards site.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories