Here are a few things to know when we play "Satin Doll" by Duke Ellington.
First, here's a leadsheet for the song:
That is how the chords are played during the melody and/or when the tempo is quite slow.
We have essentially sequences of ii-V chords throughout the piece. Note that on the leadsheet, they are often doubled: for example at the very beginning, we have:
| Dm7 G7 | Dm7 G7 | Em7 A7 | Em7 A7 | etc.
However, during the solos, those same first 4 measures become:
| Dm7 | G7 | Em7 | A7 | etc.
The ii-Vs are no longer repeated: they are now played only once.
Here are the basic solo changes:
Let's take a look, one section at a time.
First A Section:
| Dm7 | G7 | Em7 | A7 |
| Am7 D7 | Abm7 Db7 | CMaj7 | A7 ||
Typical turnarounds for the first A section would be:
| CMaj7 Dm7 | Em7 A7 ||
| CMaj7 Dm7 | Em7(b5) A7 ||
| CMaj7 F7 | Em7 A7 ||
| CMaj7 B+7 | Bb7 A7 ||
also, the changes:
| Am7 D7 | Abm7 Db7 |
can be enhanced with:
| Am7(b5) D7(b9) | Abm7 Db7(9) |
or simplified to:
| D7 | Db7 |
Second A Section:
| Dm7 | G7 | Em7 | A7 |
| Am7 D7 | Abm7 Db7 | CMaj7 | % ||
Typical turnarounds for the second A section (right before the bridge) would be:
| CMaj7 G7 | CMaj7 ||
| CMaj7 F7 | CMaj7 ||
| CMaj7 Bb7 | CMaj7 ||
| Gm7 | C7 | FMaj7 | % |
| Am7 | D7 | Dm7 | G7 A7 ||
the 2 measures of FMaj7 can be played as:
| FMaj7 F6 | FMaj7 F6 |
| FMaj7 Gm7 | G#dim7 F/A |
The last 2 measures of the bridge can be:
| Dm7 | G7 A7 ||
| Dm7 G7 | Em7 A7 || (which might be a bit too busy)
| G7 F#7 | G7 A7 ||
| G7 G#7 | G7 A7 ||
That should cover it.
"Satin Doll" probably has been overplayed, and the fact that it is one of the first few songs that we learn when we get into Jazz doesn't help either... but it still is a great song-- when done right !
Order 4 Chord Studies (1 Harmonized Melody + 3 Comping Studies) for "Satin Doll" written in diagram form (similar to the ones presented throughout this website).
Those comping studies generally show different inversions, substitutions or variations. They use voicings with or without bass notes, and typically cover different string sets (low, high, etc.)
The studies come in pdf format and will be e-mailed directly to you within 24h.
CLICK HERE FOR OTHER CHORDS STUDIES AVAILABLE in pdf format
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