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So What - Miles Davis

The lessons on Guitar Riffs

So What is a very groovy modal jazz tune from the Miles Davis album, Kind Of Blue (the biggest selling jazz album of all time).

The song is "modal" because it is all based on one chord, D minor, and takes the D Dorian mode. It is all D Dorian for 16 Bars, then it moved up a semitone to Eb Dorian for 8 bars, then back to D Dorian for another 8 bars... it then repeats that sequence over and over, so it is easy to get lost playing this tune, especially when the bass is walking all over the place...

Make sure you check out a few versions of this song. If you have not got it then Kind Of Blue is pretty much an essential album in my opinion everyone should have it and listen to it a lot. Important album. The Larry Carlton version on Last Night is also awesome. If you look around you will find many many versions.

John Coltrane also wrote a song with the same chords and just a different melody, called Impressions, which was also covered by many people - including the legend Wes Montgomery.

Transcribing and learning the solos from Miles and Trane and Wes and co you will get a good range of jazz vocabulary and see how they use the modes to make amazing music. Do it :)

Write it out in your own tab if you struggle to get it from the video - just use the blank tab.



Lesson ID: RF-017