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Jazz Guitar Lessons • What A Wonderful World • Louis Armstrong • Chords, Melody, Arpeggios, Videos

Updated on March 17, 2017
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
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 | Source

Learning Blues Guitar

I have been teaching guitar professionally since 1992, when Don’t Fret Guitar Instruction was established. Over the years, I have taught countless students (beginners to advanced) how to play or improve their chops. Past students include four members of PROTEST THE HERO.

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

The Incomparable Louis Armstrong

The Definitive Collection
The Definitive Collection

This package features stunningly remastered sound (even the earliest cuts from 1938 are hiss free, full-bodied and remarkably clear), along with a classy 16-page booklet with rare photos and detailed session liner notes. It's not the final word on the prolific and multi-talented musician who some consider the most influential jazzman ever, but is an excellent overall portrait of Satchmo, covering numerous highlights in the career of this legendary American artist.


The original recording

Chord Chart

Chord Progression

This song is in the key of F Major. For more info on flat keys, see the Misty (Chord-Melody) hub. The key of F Major has one flat: B. Since this chord chart contains only rhythm slashes, there is no need to insert the key signature. The song's time signature is 6/8. The top number tells you how many beats in the bar, and the bottom number tells you what kind of note gets one beat. Because of the way the pulses fall, 6/8 time is counted 1 and ah, 2 and ah, not 123, 456. This results in a strong 3/4 time feel. Each chord is played once per bar. Most of the chords are in the key of F. The only chords outside of the key signature are B7, Db, A7, F sharp diminished, Eb and D. The progression is transcribed with a mixture of barre chords and open chords.

What A Wonderful World: Chord Progression

What A Wonderful World Arpeggios

Arpeggios are simply, notes of the chord played individually, instead of strummed together. Quite often (as in this case) notes ascend up through the chord intervals then descend. Most of these arpeggios are just the top notes of the full barre chord. Try playing them as PARTIAL BARRES, that is, do not barre your fist finger across the entire fretboard. Instead, just hold down the notes that are necessary to form the chords. Eg: for the Gm, the first finger is barred across the top three strings, while the third finger is used to hold down the G on the fourth string. Partial barres are extremely useful. Full barres can be painful when employed for an entire tune. Partial barres allow the hand to relax.

What A Wonderful World: Arpeggios

What A Wonderful World • Arpeggios In C Major

In order to fit my partners vocal range, I had to transpose the song to C Major. Moving to this key, makes it easier to play the song, as most of the chords are open shapes. All the chords are moved down a fourth. Eg: descending from F to C: F E D C. Gm7 becomes Dm7, Am7 becomes Em7 and so on. When accompanying a vocalist, it is essential to compensate for their range as opposed to having them strain their voice with notes that are too high, or whispering notes that are too low. Capos are another solution.

What A Wonderful World • Key Of C Major

What A Wonderful World Melody

This is where the magic happens in this tune. I was amazed by how well the melody fits with the chord progression. All the main melody notes fall on chord tones (notes contained in the chord). This is a no-fail way of composing. The melody is 100% diatonic. This means that there are no notes outside of the key signature. An easy way to spot this is: if there are no accidentals (sharps, flats or natural signs in the body of the transcription), and the only notes that are altered are in the key signature, the song is diatonic. Just an extremely well written song, that flows seamlessly.

What A Wonderful World: Melody

What A Wonderful World: Rhythm, Arpeggios, and Melody

More Excellent Books!

Beginning Jazz Guitar: The Complete Jazz Guitar Method (Book & DVD)
Beginning Jazz Guitar: The Complete Jazz Guitar Method (Book & DVD)

You don't need to have a doctorate in jazz to sound like you do. This series by brilliant performer and educator Jody Fisher teaches you the concepts, techniques and theory specific to jazz and how to apply them to both lead and rhythm guitar playing. Book: 96 pages. DVD running time: 1 hr 10 min.


Bending In Pitch

Why do we bend strings on guitar? Because we can! However, a number of things must be considered. Bending notes is not just for the sake of being able to bend them, the notes must be in PITCH. This is the tricky part.

In the tablature you will see that some bends are full and some are 1/2. Although there is no standard to tablature, this is the accepted way of notating the distance (interval) the note must be bent. A full bend is the most common. It is a distance of two frets. A half (1/2) bend is the distance of one fret. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Over-bending or under-bending results in a out of key pitch and is very dissonant to the ear.

How can you tell if your bends are in pitch? Try playing the target note, then bend the other note into it. EG: if the bend is full on the 12th fret on the third string (G), play the A on the 14th fret on the third string first, then go back to the G and bend it up until you reach the pitch of the A. You have to rely on your ears for this. They will tell you when you have reached the target pitch. Fingering is also very important. Whenever possible use a fortifying finger on the fret behind the normal fingering (that is, push up with two fingers).

In the example below, place your third finger on the 12th fret, and your second on the 11th fret. This will give you much more control over the bend. The hardest bend in the transcription is the A to Bb on the third string. It is a 1/2 (one fret) bend. Very easy to over-bend this. Good Luck!

Melody With Bends


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    • profile image

      Tatic 5 years ago

      Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge with us.

      All the best,


    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 5 years ago from Oshawa

      You are very welcome, my friend. I really enjoy doing these online lessons.

    • profile image

      star pasqua 4 years ago

      I love how much work you put into this.

      thank you,


    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 4 years ago from Oshawa

      @star thanks very much!! This is the most popular lesson I have done. Just a beautiful song (even though some hard core jazzers think it is the worst thing he ever did), doesn't matter, a great song is just that, a great song!

    • profile image

      juanmusica 3 years ago

      Al final del primer coro, los acordes son F-B°-Bbmaj-C7.

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 3 years ago from Oshawa

      Not sure what you are asking. If that is the ending, it would work!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 2 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      Very detailed chords and charts, thanks for the lesson!

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 2 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks for the compliments!

    • profile image

      Eric LeClair 2 years ago

      Thanks for the lesson.

      Beautiful chords for a beautiful song.

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 2 years ago from Oshawa

      You are welcome my friend. It is a beautiful song.

    • Sumit273 profile image

      Sumit Chakrabarti 9 months ago from New Delhi

      Amazing post. I am a big fan of Jazz music, and about to post one article here. But yours is really great!

    • profile image

      Al R. Brussich 3 months ago

      Nicely done and well organized. Really like your approach. Looking forward to the next offering.

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 3 months ago from Oshawa

      @Al R. Brussich. Thanks so much for the comment.

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