My Foolish Heart Tutorial
My Foolish Heart is a delightful jazz piano ballad composed by Victor Young. Published in 1949, the most famous version of My Foolish Heart is undoubtedly the Bill Evans trio version – definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already!
The tune is most commonly played in Bb Major, however you will find it in some other keys. Bill Evans played it in A major so this is a common key for transcriptions of the tune. The lyrical melody and interesting changes make My Foolish Heart a favourite amongst cocktail jazz musicians.
This standard contains a number of major and minor 251s which is great practise for playing these common progressions in context of a jazz standard. The melody in the A section contains a lot of arpeggiated eight notes and climbs gradually within the octave. This contrasts with the B section which moves mostly in steps and stays within a close range of the keyboard.
Take a listen to the Bill Evans Trio version of this tune. This is widely cited as the definitive recording of My Foolish Heart:
Thanks for these awesome lessons of yours ! Oh and I love your perfect british accent 🙂
Awesome introduction to your course, Hayden. I’m 2 months into my pro membership and still using this introductory free lesson on Foolish Heart to apply some of the theory I’m learning from the course so far. It’s a terrific lead in to the course in general. Great stuff mate. Eri
Thanks Eric… that’s great to hear.
You will always be adding to the tunes you know. That is the beauty of learning jazz… it’s never ending.
I love it when I come back to a tune after a few months or so and I apply all of the new stuff I have been working on.
All the best mate, Hayden
Hayden, could you please explain the theory behind why we can substitute the Bbmaj chord at the end with a Bmaj chord instead? Thanks!
Hi Eric, yes sure let me help you out here:
Instead of ending the tune on the Imaj7 chord (Bbmaj7 in this case) – it’s a nice effect to play a major #11 chord a half step higher.
The listener is expecting the tune to finish on the I chord and so playing a major chord a half step up creates a surprising and unexpected ending. The #11 extension has a ‘floating’ quality which adds to the unique and unusual sound of this ending technique. Try this on any other tune that ends on the I chord.
You can take this technique further, try this Eric:
- Instead of ending on the Imaj7 chord, play a major #11 chord a half step higher
- run up the keyboard outlining this new chord
- then finally resolve to the I chord
This is a useful technique to delay the sense of resolution and add interest to the end of your arrangement. The #11 chord a half step higher is not related to the key of the tune, and so it sounds very unusual in relation to the rest of the harmony. When you finally drop back to the actual I chord, it creates a final sense of resolution – the perfect way to end a tune!
I demonstrate this technique in many different jazz standard lessons, check out “The Nearness Of You” as an example: https://www.pianogroove.com/jazz-piano-lessons/the-nearness-of-you-tutorial/ – skip to the final chapter of the video on the “4 Bar Ending”.
Hope this helps Eric… any other questions just let me know 🙂
Hayden thanks so much for the swift and amazing response. I’ve been enjoying every minute of the subscription so far your tutorials are truly the best 😀
Hi Hayden, Please post the sheet music/lead sheets for this song.
Hello Hayden.In what context do you like to use the 5th?.i know that the more important notes are the 3th and 7th..but you use the 5th at random chords.Thanks
On the iReal Pro app the turnaround at the end is a 2-5 with the chords listed as C7 and F7sus. The recommended chords sound real cheesy. Can you give me a couple of voicings for these chords that transition to the beginning? Thanks in advance.