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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: “All the Things You Are”

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Basically, there's
a lot of chords in this song.
But actually, we can reduce it
pretty easily to a few key scales.
The first four, actually five bars,
are all in the key scale of A flat major.
All of those chords
are diatonic to A flat major.
When you get to bar six,
we've got a two, five, one in C.
So the first phrase is five bars of
A flat major, and then three bars of C.
That's the harmonic
story of the A section.
The B section modulates to
E flat major for five bars.
And then a two, five, one in G.
It's the same chord relationship for
those two sections, but
it's a different pairing.
The C section starts with that same two,
five, one in G.
And then we have a minor,
two five in E minor.
The F sharp half diminished,
[SOUND] and the B seven.
You'll remember those exact
chords from Autumn Leaves.
But instead of cadencing in E minor,
we have [SOUND] a beautiful
E major seven chord.
That's like the most surprising
chord of the whole melody so far.
And then we hold on [SOUND] to
that G sharp, as a common tone,
and it becomes the sharp
five in the next chord, C7.
[SOUND] And that tone still stays as we go
to the return of the A section, and
that same pitch becomes
the third in F minor.
Just to finish talking through
this harmonic analysis,
the next four bars are in A flat major
again, like the opening of the song.
And then from that D flat major seven,
which is gonna be a D flat
major seven sharp 11, so
that it's still in the A flat key scale.
Then, we're gonna have a D flat
[SOUND] minor major seven.
So remember,
from our finding chord series,
the minor major chord is a minor third
with a major seven.
So basically we're just dropping
the third from the D flat major seven.
It's a beautiful sound.
And that's leading us to C minor
[SOUND] and B, a half diminished.
Bass chord.
And then we're gonna cadence with a two,
five, one in A flat major.
[SOUND] Just wanted to talk through some
of the complicated harmonies in this tune.
But it's really important that we try and
analyze them,
and establish these overall key centers.
And using the circle of fifths,
or two, five, one specifically.
Can help us reduce all of these
cords to just a few harmonies.
The one thing that I want
us to learn with this tune,
is this idea of comping thirds and
If you're still practicing your guide
tones on the thirds and the sevenths.
Running those through the changes, and
then trying to improvise
connections between them.
This will be an easy extension of that.
If you haven't done that exercise for
this tune yet, you
should do it now, before learning
comping of the thirds and sevenths.
But what comping the thirds and
sevenths means,
is that the third and the seventh of
each chord are the most important notes.
The third determines whether it's major or
And the seventh also determines
the quality of the chord.
Your gonna have a major seventh,
or a flat seventh.
So if all you did was play the third and
seventh of F minor,
the third is A flat [SOUND] and
the seventh is E flat [SOUND].
That actually tells us everything we need
to know about the F chord right there.
We know it's minor, [SOUND] and
we know it has a flat seven [SOUND].
So what we wanna do is,
we actually want to track the thirds and
sevenths through the whole
chord progression.
First run through the tune
tracking just the thirds,
which in like the first four
bars would sound like this.
F minor seven, B flat minor seven,
B flat seven, A flat major seven.
Those are the thirds.
A flat, D flat, G, C.
Let's do the same thing for the seventh.
The sevenths of the first four bars are,
E flat [SOUND].
E flat, A flat, D flat, and G.
Let's actually sing these, because it's
really important to get them in our ears.
So I'm gonna strum the chords and I'm
gonna sing the guide tones on the third.
third, third, third.
Coincidently, these thirds are the main
guide tones of the melody,
of All the things You Are.
Okay now let me do the same thing for
the sevenths, just so
we really hear the quality
that it gives us.
the first seventh is E flat seven,
seven, seven, seven.
Those are the thirds and sevens.
So now, if you've really gone through this
tune and isolated the thirds and sevenths.
Both on the instrument, and also vocally,
you'll be ready to combine them.
That would sound like this,
on the first four bars.
I'm basically just
simultaneously playing the third and
the seventh guide tone.
Now instead of improvising connections
between these guide tones,
we're actually just gonna hang
on the thirds and seventh.
And come up with some cool accompanimental
rhythms with the bow, as if we were
a jazz pianist or a guitarist just kind
of stabbing at these harmonies here and
there, while the bass player is walking.
So isolated,
the first four bars would sound like this.
One, two, three, four,
Yeah, so you hear I'm just kind of doing
some jazzy rhythms,
holding these thirds and sevenths.
And that is how you comp chords
really simply in a jazz setting.
You're showing the two most
important notes of each chord, and
that is a really standard way to
accompany somebody in a jazz solo.
Let me just demonstrate through
the whole chord progression once.
I'm gonna comp thirds and
sevens to the backing track, just so
you can see how it sounds
through the whole tune.
So, work on this.
See if you can do this
with the backing track.
Take a while to just identify the thirds
and sevenths, and once you can hold
them all the way through the melody,
then try adding these cool rhythms.
For what it's worth, when we go
through the cycle of fifths, the third
[SOUND] in F [SOUND] A flat is actually
the seventh in the next chord, B flat.
[SOUND] So you'll notice that as
we walk through these thirds and
that we're actually usually only changing
one note at a time.
That's one of the great things
about the circle of fifths,
is that these thirds and
sevenths keep inverting themselves, and
stay really connected as you
walk down the circle of fifths.
So, as you heard, it's actually a really
smooth way to show the harmonies for
all of these chords.