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Jazz Guitar Lessons • When Sunny Gets Blue Chord Melody • Chords, Chord Chart, Melody, Video Lessons.

Updated on June 3, 2016

Great entry into the world of blues guitar! Chords, solos, videos


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

Nat King Cole Music

The Very Best Of Nat King Cole
The Very Best Of Nat King Cole

The Very Best Of Nat King Cole features 28 hits and classics on one CD, including 1 previously unreleased track, Morning Star. Highlights include Unforgettable, Mona Lisa, (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66, and more. The World Of Nat King Cole documentary airing on PBS' American Masters on May 17th to over 5 million viewers.


When Sunny Gets Blue • Nat King Cole


All these chord shapes are fairly common voicings. Make sure you have the right fingering and fret positions. None of them contain open strings, all are movable. Try playing them on different frets, but always be aware of the name of the chord. Eg: move the Bbm7 one fret higher and you are playing Bm7.

To hear the sound that can be created, try the ever popular I II V progression. In this key, play the AbMaj7 voicing at the end of the first line, then move to the Bbm7 and Eb7 shapes at the beginning of the line. This is an incredibly, pleasing sound to the ear. Practice this up and down the fretboard. Also, try 'grabbing' the chords, instead of strumming. Play the bass note (the lowest note of the chord) with your thumb, the remaining notes with the fingers of your strumming hand. I found the Dm7b5 to be the hardest to finger cleanly, it's very hard to cram the second, third and fourth finger into the tenth fret at the same time. This chord (like so many others), can be voiced in a different area of the fretboard. In fact, the chord can be found in the fifth position, exactly the same fingering as a Bb9. Chord spelling is: D (root on the fifth string, fifth fret), Ab (flat fifth, fourth string, sixth fret), C (minor seventh, third string, fifth fret), F (minor third, second string, sixth fret). Many chords have exactly the same fingering but more than one name. It all depends on the intervals contained in the fingering.

An extreme example: an open CMaj7 chord could be named an Em#5. It's a bit of a stretch, but it is technically correct. Intervallic structure is: C (sharp fifth, fifth string, third fret) E (root, fourth string, second fret), G (minor third, open third string), B (fifth, open second string), E (root, open first string). Also, there are many more positions to play the chords in. During the chord melody arrangement, I have moved many of the voicings to different positions to accommodate the melody.

Intervallic Structure
D (root), Ab (flat fifth), C (minor seventh), F (minor third)
D (third), Ab (seventh), C (ninth), F (fifth)
C Maj7
C (root), E (third), G (fifth), B (Major seventh)
C (sharp fifth), E (root), G (third), B (fifth)

Chords From When Sunny Gets Blue in Arpeggio Style

Chord Chart

This is a common arrangement: 2 verses, bridge, outro (verse). This chart works well when backing up a vocalist or 'comping' behind a soloist. The parent key signature is Ab (four flats B, E A, D), but the chord changes force the song into other keys. When the song moves to other key signatures within the body of the tune, it is called 'modulation'. In the bridge (measures seventeen to twenty), the progression modulates into F Major (one flat, B). The second line (measures twenty one to twenty four), modulate into Eb Major (three flats, B, E, A), before making the transition back into Ab Major by way of the Eb7 (the dominant seventh cord of Ab Major) in the last two beats of measure twenty four.

The second line of the verse (measures five to eight), form a descending chromatic sound (one fret at a time). Quite difficult to improvise over these changes. Of course, once again, the safest and easiest way would be to embellish the melody with chord tones, scales runs, and techniques, such as bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs, etc. Many jazz players utilize this style of playing as opposed to all out improvisation. It is very pleasing to the ear, and shunned by some jazz purists, but has always had a place in this genre.

Also, I have taken liberties with the original ending. I have shortened the progression and omitted a good chunk of the chords, notably the original change from Eb+7#9 (+ is short form for augmented, on guitar, augmented is one fret higher, same as a sharp. Augmented triads contain a sharp fifth), and the Ab6/9, only inserting this chord as the ending chord.

Augmented Chords

Augmented Triads
Chord Structure
C, E, G#
G, B, D#
D, F#, A#
A, C#, E#
E, G#, B#
F, A, C#
Bb, D, F#
Eb, G, B
Augmented triads are simply a normal Major triad (root, third, fifth), with a sharp (augmented) fifth (root, third, sharp fifth)

When Sunny Gets Blue Rhythm Guitar

When Sunny Gets Blue Rhythm Guitar

The Melody Arranged For Guitar

This is the melody line arranged for guitar, or any other instrument that operates in the treble clef. As stated in other lessons, melodies should sound great as stand alone pieces. The trick to doing this is to play them in time and with expression. Dynamics (where the music gets louder and softer) are a huge part of a performance, and make the overall sound so much more interesting. Listen to jazz guitarist Larry Carlton, the man is a master at this. Playing with dynamics is not as easy as it sounds. Musicians tend to get louder as they perform faster passages. A great exercise is to try playing the slower parts louder and the faster parts quieter. This will take much practice, but is well worth it.

The phrasing is not all that hard, mostly quarters, eighths, and whole notes. Measure four contains a sixteenth note scale run in Ab Major on the second beat. Starting on C natural and ending on F natural, it follows the scale in consecutive steps, which makes it easier to execute. Also, in the video lesson, on measures twenty three and twenty four, I have played the eight note triplets as two eight notes. Try playing them both ways.

When Sunny Gets Blue Melody

When Sunny Gets Blue Melody Arranged For Guitar

Chord Melody

Once again, as in the Misty chord melody arrangement, I have substituted the foundation chords for melody chords. In order to keep both of these arrangements fairly simple, I have avoided incorporating bass lines. Both of these transcriptions contain only the melody and the supporting chords. The best way to approach learning these tunes is to, work with the melody and chord chart first, thoroughly learn both, then attempt the solo arrangements. This way you will see where the chords are coming from and how they support the melody. Once you have followed this procedure, try adding to the solos by embellishing the melody or the chords. For instance, I frequently play eight sixteenth notes in the third bar of the verse, using the A flat Major scale.

When Sunny Gets Blue Chord Melody

Chord Melody

Chord Melody with Embellishments.


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    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      3 years ago from Oshawa

      You're very welcome my friend.

    • profile image

      Al Brussich 

      3 years ago

      I'm new to chord melody and so far your postings have been the best for me to learn from. Thank you for helping me get the ball rolling.

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      5 years ago from Oshawa

      It is a beautiful melody. The ii V I is such a sweet sound. I have some other chord melodies up here. Misty, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, Lady Bird, Moon River. I have tried to keep them fairly simple. Thanks so much for the feedback. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. I am not a sage when it comes to music (no one is), but I will do my best to help. Thanks again!

    • johnp61 profile image

      John O'Neill 

      5 years ago from Bristol, UK

      Been playing this over and over again. Can't believe how sweet it is and it has really helped me get an understanding of how the ii V I works!

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      5 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks for the feedback. You are very welcome!

    • johnp61 profile image

      John O'Neill 

      5 years ago from Bristol, UK

      Beautiful melody! Thank you very much for this :)


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