How to Play God Bless The U.S.A.






Happy Memorial Day to all who live in the U.S.A. 

Every 4th of July I like to post patriotic songs to play for your enjoyment. I'm so thankful for the troops and support them all the way. Here's where you'll find a few chord charts to some songs.

I thought I would give you a quick chord breakdown to Lee' Greenwood's song, God Bless The U.S.A., written in 1984. It's in the Key of F (1 flat, Bb) with 4/4 time signature, slowly.


F Bb/F
If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life,
Gm7 Eb7 C7
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife,
F Am7
I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today
Gm7 Dm Bb
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away
Chorus
C/E Bb/D F
And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
C/E Bb/D F
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
Dm F/A Bb Am7
And I'll gladly stand up, next to you, and defend her still today
Gm7 F/A Bb Gm7/C F
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.
From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,
From Detroit down to Houston, from New York to LA,
Well there's pride in every American heart,
And it's time we stand and say,
C/E Bb/D F
That I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free,
C/E Bb/D F
And I won`t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
Dm F/A Bb Am7
And I'll gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today,
Gm7 F/A Bb Gm7/C F
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA
C/E Bb/D F
And I'm Proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free,
C/E Bb/D F
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me,
Dm F/A Bb Am7
And I'll gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today,
Gm7 F/A Gm7 Am7 Bb C7 F
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the U S A

Chord Breakdown:
Verse
L.H. / R.H.

FF/CFAC
FF/DAC
G/DFBb
Eb/DbGBb
FF/CFAC
AG/CEGC
G/DFGBb
D/DFA
Bb/DFBbD

Chorus

E/CEG
D/BbDF
F/FAC
E/CEG
D/BbDF
F/FAC
D/ADF
A/CEG
Bb/FBbD
A/EGAC
G/DFBb
A/FAC * (last time to Coda)
Bb/FBbD
C/GBbDF
F/ACF
F/GCE
F/FBbD
F/AC
F/BbDF

Verse

FF/AC
FF/DFA
G/DFBb
Eb/DbGBb
C/EGC
FF/FA
AA/GACE
AA/EGAC
GG/DFBb
D/FAD
Bb/FBbD (Back to chorus)

Coda

Bb/FBbD
C/GBbDF

Chorus


D/ADF

E/CEG
D/BbDF
F/FAC
E/CEG
D/BbDF
F/FAC
D/ADF
A/CEG
Bb/FBbD
A/EGAC
G/DFBb
A/FAC
GF/BbDFBb
AG/CEAC
BbF/DBbD
CG/EBbCE
FCA/FACF

Blessings,





"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Norah Jones: Sunrise

Norah Jones


Imagine going to a Norah Jones concert and hearing all of your favorite songs from this amazing artist.

Norah Jones, born on March 30th 1979 in New York City, is one of the most popular contemporary and jazz-influenced singers of our time. She was a member of Wax Poetic before her debut album Come Away With Me. She can still be heard singing with them on two tracks of their release, Nublu Sessions.

Her debut album Come Away With Me was released in 2002 and sold 22 million copies worldwide. It won 5 Grammy Awards in 2003.

Here's one of my favorite songs written in 2004, with words and music by Norah Jones and Lee Alexander... Sunrise. With a 2/2 time signature, played in the Key of Eb, here are the chords.


Cm7 Bb Eb

Cm7 Bb Eb

Cm7 Bb Eb Abmaj9

  Bb      Cm7
Sunrise, sunrise
           Bb              Eb
Looks like mornin' in your eyes
         Cm7        Eb     Ab(add2)   Eb
But the clocks held nine fifteen for hours

Gm7      Cm7
Sunrise, sunrise
          Bb             Eb
Couldn't tempt us if it tried
             Cm7   Eb   Ab(add2)        Eb           
'Cause the afternoon's already come and gone


           Cm Bb6 Eb Ab
And I said hoooooooooo... (x3)
    Fm
To you


     Bb   Cm7     
Surprise, surprise
            Bb           Eb         
Couldn't find it in your eyes
         Cm7      Eb          Ab(add2) Eb
But I'm sure it's written all over my face
  Gm7       Cm7
Surprise, surprise
       Bb                Eb
Never something I could hide
       Cm7    Eb     Ab(add2)      Eb
When I see we made it through another day


          Cm Bb6 Eb Ab
And I said hoooooooooo... (x3)
   Fm
To you


Ab(add2)
 Now good night
                F/A
Throw its cover down
 Ab(add2) F/A
On me again
Ab(add2)         
 Ooh and if I'm right
            F/A
It's the only way
   Ab(add2)   Bbsus
To bring me back


Cm Bb6 Eb Ab
Hoo...        (x3)
   Fm
To you

Hoo...   (x3)
  Fm  Eb(add2)
To you 








"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Introduction to Modulation

Instant Transposer Software




Introduction to Modulation


By Raphael Crystal

It is sometimes necessary to move from one key to another in the course of a piece. This kind of harmonic motion is known as “modulation.” It should not be confused with transposition. While transposition involves taking a tune written in one key and playing it in another, modulation is the process by which you arrive at the new key.

Modulation is often useful when you are accompanying a singer or group of singers. Imagine you are accompanying the song, “My Country Tis Of Thee” in the key of F major. Our first example shows the last four bars of the tune:


F/CFA
E/CGBb
F/CFA
G/BbCG
A/ACF

Measure 2

F/CFA
G/CEBb
A/CFC

Measure 3

Bb/DFBbD
C/CFA
C/BbEG

Measure 4

F/ACF

For the last verse, to provide some variety, you might want to move to a new key. Typically, the move is up a half step. This doesn’t strain the singers’ ranges much, but it provides a bright, new sound. Here are the first four bars of the tune in the key of F sharp major:

Bar 1

F#/A#C#F#
D/A#D#F#
B/BD#G#

Bar 2

C#/BC#E#
D#/B#D#F#
E#/BC#G#

Bar 3

F#/C#F#A#
D#/D#F#A#
B/D#G#B

Bar 4

C#/C#F#A#
Double SharpC/BE#G#
D#/A#D#F#

The problem is how to get from the end of the tune in F major, as shown in our first example, to the beginning of the tune in F sharp major, as shown in the second example. This is an harmonic problem, which calls for an harmonic solution. The strongest, most direct harmonic movement is from a “dominant” chord (the chord built on the fifth degree of the scale) to a “tonic” chord (built on the first degree). This is known as a V-I progression. A dominant seventh chord may also be used, and this is called a V7-I progression.

To move from F major to F sharp major, we can use the dominant chord of the new key to point the way. Our next example shows the last two bars of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” in F major. After the final note, a C sharp chord has been inserted, which is the V chord of F sharp major. This establishes the new key, and the example concludes with the first two bars of the tune in F sharp major. The C sharp chord and the F sharp chord that begin the tune form a V-I progression. A little melodic phrase has also been added to guide the singers to the first note in the new key.

Measure 1

Bb/DFBbD
C/CFA
C/BbEG

Measure 2

F/ACF
C#/C#E#C# to B (V)
C#/A# to G#

Bar 1

F#/A#C#F# (I)
D#/A#D#F#
B/BD#G#

Bar 2

C#/BC#E#
D#B#D#F#
E#/BC#G#

If, instead, we want to move up a whole step to the key of G major, we can use a D chord, which is the dominant in that key. Or, as in our next example, we can use a D7 chord so the progression is V7-I. Again a melodic phrase leads to the opening note. Notice that in both of our examples the modulation has been achieved without adding extra bars to the tune.

This is the neatest way to do it:

Measure 1

Bb/DFBbD
C/CFA
C/BbEbG

Measure 2

F/ACF
D/CDF# to G = D7 (V7)
D/A to F#

Bar 1

G/BDG = G (I)
E/BEG
C/CEA
Bar 2
D/CDF#
E/C#EG
F#/CDA

We have been discussing the simplest form of modulation. In more complicated modulations a group of transitional chords may be involved, but almost always the dominant chord of the new key plays a major role.

If you would like to gain facility in modulation, you should become familiar with the V7-I progression in all keys. Our final example provides a pattern that can be extended up through all twelve tonalities. Practice it until it becomes automatic. When all of the dominants are (literally) at your fingertips, you will be ready to move the harmony in any direction.

C Major

GF/BDG = G7 to CE/GC = C

Db Major

AbGb/CebAb = Ab7 to DbF/AbDb = Db

D Major

AG/C#EA = A7 to DF#/AD = D

Eb Major

BbAb/DFBb = Bb7 to EbG/BbEb = Eb etc. 

You might want to invest in Instant Transposer Software






"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Takin' It To The Streets: Doobie Brothers

Photo of The Doobie Brothers from the front row

                                Take this message to my brother
                                                    You will find him everywhere
                                                   Wherever people live together
                                                         Tied in poverty's despair

Takin' It To The Streets was written in 1976. The words and music are by Michael McDonald, one of my favorite musicians. I love this moderately fast song. Here are the chords that I have highlighted in red. You'll find some simple chord charts on line but I think this one is pretty easy to learn. I'm a Doobie fan... are you?

Fm6/G      F/G C/G             D7/G  G7sus4
You don't know me but I'm your brother
Fm6    F/G   C/G          D7/G   G7sus4
I was raised here in this living hell
Fm6       F/G  C/G         D7/G G7sus4
You don't know my kind in your world
Fm6/G  F/G  C/G          D7/G   G7sus4
Fairly soon the time will tell
C    C/Bb F         F/A   Fm/Ab      G7sus4      C  C/Bb
You,    telling me the things you're gonna do for me
F/A                   Fm/Ab          G7sus4
I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see 

C7/E     F6    D7-5/F#    C/G F/G
Takin' it to the streets
C7/E     F6    D7-5/F#    C/G F/G
Takin' it to the streets
C7/E    F6   D7-5/F#     C/G  F/G
Takin' it to the streets
C7/E    F6   D7-5/F#     C/G  F/G
Takin' it to the streets

Verse 2
 
Fm6/G     F/G    C/G     D7/G  G7sus4
Take this message to my brother
Fm6/G     F/G    C/G     D7/G  G7sus4
You will find him everywhere
Fm6/G     F/G    C/G     D7/G  G7sus4
Wherever people live together
Fm6/G     F/G    C/G     D7/G  G7sus4
Tied in poverty's despair
C    C/Bb7 F/A         Fm/Ab         G7sus4       C  C/Bb
You,    telling me the things you're gonna do for me
F/A               Fm/Ab             G7sus4
I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see 

C7/E    F6    D7-5/F#  C/G F/G
Takin' it to the streets
C7/E    F6    D7-5/F#  C/G F/G
Takin' it to the streets
C7/E    F6    D7-5/F#  C/G F/G
Takin' it to the streets
C7/E    F6    D7-5/F#  C/G F/G
Takin' it to the streets 


Repeat and Fade

Basically I'm playing these chords:

G/AbDF = Fm6/G

G/ACF = F/G

G/GCE = C/G

G/F#CD = D7/G

G/FCD = G7sus4

Ending:

E/EBbC
F/DAC
F#/DFbC
G/EGC
G/FAC




You may be interested in the Hear and Play Drum Series


All the best,






"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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