"Dream A Little Dream" Part 2
Welcome to this 2nd tutorial on Dream a little Dream.
Gus Kahn, the lyricist for this tune is quoted as saying, "that young men and women do not know how to say ‘I love you’ to one another so we say it for them in 32 bars." I’d say this is even more true these days, and I love how this tune expresses said love.
Creating A Jazzier Sounding Arrangement
We worked on melody and triads in the first part of this tutorial, and we ended up with a nice poppy version, similar to the Mama’s and Papa’s version.
I’m also fond of the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong version, which predates the above version and has that lovely jazz standard sound. So now let’s work on our 7th chords and talk about simple ways to make this tune jazzier. By a stroke of luck, their version is also in the key of C.
Introducing Chord Extensions
An extension is a note that is not a pillar of our chord – the pillars being 1, 3, 5, & 7. Looking at measure 7, the melody hits a b9. That’s the most obvious place to add in a b9 to our voicing and it’s actually easiest to just take out the root and replace with a b9.
Backing up to measure 1, we have a quick hit on another b9 on our B7. This happens quickly tho, so it might sound a bit dissonant. I might not play it til the 2nd A Section, or last A when I want to add in complexity, and by then I will also know better if my singer is modifying the melody.
The Bridge: Key Change To Ab Major
The most interesting extensions in the melody occur over the Bb, and Eb. On that Bb, we are singing an 11 to a 9 to an 11, then over the Eb we are singing a 9 to a 3.
The rest of the melody notes are chord pillars, except for the Bb in measure 4 of the bridge, we hit the 11, but it resolved to the 1 of the Eb.
Always Support Your Singer
Since our singer is hitting all these lovely extensions, we could keep our voicings to 7th chord pillars and still have a jazzy sound. But if we are itching to add colour, some of these extensions might be a nice way to do it.
Also we could keep it clean during the vocals, but then add these very extensions into our soloing… it’s a wonderful way to keep the solo engaging as it echos some of the beautiful and exotic notes of the melody.
I've kept my bass very simple, but whenever you feel ready, you can start to experiment with more complicated bass lines... like octaves, 1.5.1 or simple walking bass consisting of walking the pillars.
Now it's up to you and your singer to decide how you want to play this wonderful tune.
If you go for a jazzier arrangement, you can still play clean pillars or get more hard core with extensions.
There are not a lot of breaks in the melody, but you could turn any V7 chord into an V7alt. chord for more colour.
Listen to the different version and feel free to mix and match things you like.
- I hope you enjoy working on this poetic tune and maybe even serenade someone you love with it.