Straight No Chaser Tutorial
Welcome to the first blues standard tutorial on the famous tune "Straight No Chaser" by Thelonious Monk.
"Straight no Chaser" is most often played in the key of F, so it’s an F Blues. Its very closely related to the standard jazz blues so if you are familiar with that set of chord changes you will have no problems learning the form and harmony for this tune.
The most interesting thing about "Straight No Chaser" is the displacement of the melody. The main melodic motif if the head is an ascending phrase that’s repeated throughout but placed on different beats of the bar.
We’ll approach it at a medium tempo of about 120 bpm. At this tempo we will play once through the head, and then move straight into some improvisation.
You should be aware that if you were playing at faster tempos, it’s common to play the head twice before moving into the improvised sections. I’m going to play the melody exactly as it’s written but I will be playing with a swing feel.
We are going to incorporate everything we have studied with the blues so far. One recommendation would be think about the dynamics of your solo. For example you don’t want to start of with your best stuff, keep it simple to begin with and remember that a great solo will develop into a climax and gradually wind back down.
Check out the poll in the forum where you can vote on the blues tunes and theory topics that you want to see on the website.
Share and discover your favourite blues records and take part in the transcription exercises to develop your improvisation skills.
12 Bar Blues Lesson Supplement File Type: pdf
“Straight No Chaser” – Jazz Blues Form File Type: pdf
Continually think about how you will build tension and then release the tension.
Ultimately, you are telling a musical story and creating a narrative, remember that the best improvisations sound like melodies.
- Repetition and motif development play an essential role.
Thanks for this helpful video. I’d like to download and listen to some great blues piano tunes. Is there a place in the community section where I can find a list of great live performances and musicians? Thanks.
You can find a transcription exercises on blues tunes in this thread: https://www.pianogroove.com/community/t/transcription-exercises/147/9
Here is another great recording in the forum: https://www.pianogroove.com/community/t/what-record-are-you-listening-to-today/37/91
There are a few nice records for you to listen to Josh 🙂
Hello Hayden good morning i watch your vídeos from my Android and i m unable to find the speed bar for slowing the vídeo.Could you give me a little hand please? Much appreciated have a great day.
Hi teacher, why is the sixth bar not in line with what you taught in the earlier lessons (Bo7)? In fact there are few deviations that I have observed in this video from the earlier ones on the “left hand” voicing side. Don’t we need to stick to the framework / grammar of “Jazz Blues form” taught in the earlier lessons? I thought that the left hand voicing are the “rules” and need to be stuck to, while the right hand i.e. the melody part is very flexible to help us improvise. Pls help.