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Jazz Guitar Lessons • Moon River Chord Melody • Rhythm Guitar, Vocal Melody, Tab, Video Lessons,

Updated on March 22, 2020
Review by Karen: Starts at the beginning and breaks the blues down in a well articulated way. It exponentially grows from there. Doesn't keep it safe but goes for that blues-jazzy feel throughout. Not your average blues book.
Review by Karen: Starts at the beginning and breaks the blues down in a well articulated way. It exponentially grows from there. Doesn't keep it safe but goes for that blues-jazzy feel throughout. Not your average blues book.

Learning Blues Guitar

With this book, my goal is to relate the scales with chords and rhythms as opposed to just learning solos or licks and having no idea how to apply them. Good rhythm playing and knowledge is crucial to good soloing and vice versa. This comes through understanding the relationship between chords and scales. This book provides that important foundation.

The book is unique in the fact that each chapter is based around a different key signature and an open (contains unfretted notes), pattern of the pentatonic scale. There are five chapters covering the key signatures of E, A, D, G and C, and the five open ‘box patterns’ (scale patterns) of the pentatonic scale. Eventually all the box patterns are covered, from the open strings to the fifteenth fret.

There is no endless scale practice or useless licks to learn. Instead, each chapter begins with a chord progression, moves into various rhythm patterns derived from the chord progression, and then culminates with solos based on the scale and key covered. These solos tie in with the chord progression and rhythm patterns to form a complete lesson for each chapter.

The book is progressive. Upon completion, the student will have a solid foundation in blues guitar, and will understand the rhythm, lead connection.

The book is best studied from beginning to end, without slighting any material. All theory is explained in the simplest terms. There are fretboard diagrams for the scales, chord grids, and photos of hand positions as well as videos posted on YouTube to aid in the learning process.

It is best, but not necessary, to have a knowledge of barre and open chord shapes before beginning this course. All the chords have fretboard grids associated with them.

Good luck and have fun. Music is a celebration. Enjoy!

Lorne K. Hemmerling

Moon River • Rhythm Guitar

This is the chord chart that the chord melody arrangement was based on. All these chords are based in the first three frets and many contain open strings. Most are standard open position chords, with a few exceptions. The F(b5), Bb9#11, F13, Bm7b5 and F#m7b5 shapes are not that common. I have written in the fingering for these unusual shapes, the rest of the fingerings can be be found in the the lesson: The Fifteen Essential Open Chords. Try strumming all downstrokes, three beats to a measure, until you are familiar with the progression, then add some expression to your playing (different strumming patterns, accents, dynamics, etc.). This will add 'feel' to your playing and make it so much more enjoyable for you and the listener. If you are accompanying a vocalist or melody instrument, try to 'read' where they are going. The more you practice this, the easier it becomes. You often hear of two musicians playing off of each other, this is what is meant.

Moon River • Rhythm Guitar

Moon River arranged for guitar.
Moon River arranged for guitar. | Source

Moon River • Rhythm Guitar

Moon River • Melody

The melody is strictly diatonic to the key of C Major (no sharps or flats in the key signature or the body of the song). When altered notes appear in the transcription and not the key signature, they are are called 'accidentals'. An accidental only lasts until the end of the measure. That is, if the note was to be flat or sharp in the next measure, the accidental would have to be written in again. The barline cancels out the accidental. If the note was to be played as an unaltered note in the same measure, the sharp or flat would be cancelled with a 'natural' sign. All my transcriptions are done in Finale, a professional music transcription and engraving program. Most all programs make these changes automatically.

The phrasing is quite easy. Don't forget the song is in three four time. Instead of a whole note (four beats), filling up a measure, the dotted half note (three beats), fills a measure. Something to note here is that, a whole rest still fills an entire measure whatever the time signature is. This is something that confuses many students, and I can definitely understand the confusion. Three four time is also known as 'Waltz Time' because most all waltzes are written in three four. This time signature results in a kind of lilting, swaying feel.

Moon River • Melody

Moon River vocal melody arranged for guitar.
Moon River vocal melody arranged for guitar. | Source

Moon River • Melody

Moon River • Chord Melody

This is an excellent entry into chord melody arrangements. With a good knowledge of jazz chords, this is fairly easy to execute. Again, the melody is voiced as the top notes of the chords.

This tune is in three four time. Three four time is simple triple meter. There are 3 beats to each bar and each beat can be divided by two. The melody is in the key of C Major. C Major is the only key signature with no sharps or flats. This transcription is played in free time. There is no designation of tempo. No click track was used during the recording. Free time is a very expressive way of playing, since the tempo is determined by the performer. The tempo changes tend to create tension in the slower parts and a feeling of release when the player returns to the base tempo. This also makes a huge difference when combined with dynamics (where the music gets softer and louder).

Chords In Playing Order

Guitar chords for Moon River.
Guitar chords for Moon River. | Source

Moon River • Chord Melody

Moon River Solo Guitar

Andy Williams, Moon River


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    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      4 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks greenbluenoter, they are beautiful chords!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Really a joy to listen these chords. Thanks. Dreamy!

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      6 years ago from Oshawa

      You are welcome my friend. Happy to help. Thanks for the feedback!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you, the chords helped me a lot! =)

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      7 years ago from Oshawa

      Hi Douglas. Good question. I placed the E11 in as a 'fill' chord. I wasn't really concerned about the melody at that point, just putting together two chords that fit nicely in that spot (the Bm7b5 into the E11), always a great sound.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A nice arrangement with excellent voicings, but why is the E at the top of the E11 when the melody note is D?

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      8 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks very much, Bill. Great old song. My sister played it over and over again, when we were young. Andy Williams version.

    • profile image

      Bill K 

      8 years ago

      Very nice. You are helping me learn some jazz basics, and why not learn the basics on a great song like "Moon River."

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      8 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks so much for the compliments, lucybell21. Coming to your house would be a long commute. My sister used to play accordion. We played Red River Valley over and over again. I know the feeling!

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 

      8 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Once again I enjoyed reading your hub! You have so much talent!Come to my house and teach me! I suck really bad. it has always been my dream to play really well. My kids used to make fun of me back in the day, when I would play Tom Dooley over & over again, because it seemed so easy on the video that I had bought back then. Aha I hear you chuckling..


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