Learning from Jazz Standards

When I was in graduate school at TC, my jazz teacher, Paul Beaudry, compiled a list of 50 jazz standards (see the list on Spotify here!) that were, in his opinion, essential to learn.

After joining the San Diego Jazz Collective, a great Meet Up that has a variety of jam sessions, I’ve started working my way back through them alphabetically. ”Alone Together” (wiki link) is the first tune that’s brand new to me, so I’m going to spend a few days working on that one.

I really like this song and I think the relatively slower tempo and repeated chord progression gives the bassist the option to focus more on creating interesting riffs instead of primarily a walking bass line for timekeeping purposes.

Goals:

  • While I’m starting in the key of D minor, I’d like to be able to play this chart in a few other keys, like A minor. Any suggestions?
  • Based on the chart I have for this song, “Alone Together” is a great opportunity to focus on half & fully diminished 7th chords and 7b9 chords, which I’ve never really played through before.
  • This song seems like a good venue to use for practicing ‘minimalist’ solos with held notes and silence – something I tend to shy away from in my own playing.

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