Frankie and Johnnie
In this timeless oldie we expand our knowledge of LH chords to include diminished, half diminished, augmented and augmented 7th chords. We also "swing" time and use the pentatonic scale and crush notes to improvise over the song's chord progression.
The Sheet Music:
The notes of any Pentatonic Scale are the 1,2,3,5 and 6 notes of the major scale. In the case of the C major pentatonic scale the notes would be C, D, E, G and A. These scales provide a great pool of notes that you can use to improvise your own melodies over a chord progression. They will all sound "good" to the ear and tend to work best when you use them in a fairly linear manner without too may big jumps. This can make them quite straight forward to play.
Crush notes are also a very popular addition to jazz and blues music. They are notes that are played very rapidly before the main note and are often located one semitone away from the main note.
We come across quite a few new LH chords in this song. The G7#5 symbol indicates that we need to play an augmented 7th chord. To do this we need to locate the 5th note of our LH triad and raise it by one semitone (or half step) and add it to our G7 chord. The raised 5th note is found 8 semitones (or 8 half steps) above the main chord or root note. So for G7#5 the raised 7th is D#. The notes for this chord would be G, B, D# and F.
The notes for the C7#5 chord (C, E, G# and Bb) are located and played in the same manner as for the G7#5 chord.
Augmented chords include the notes mentioned above without the 7th note. The notes in a Gaug chord would be G, B and D#.
The F#dim symbol indicates that we need to play an F# diminished chord. These chords are very symmetrical with all of their notes being 3 semitones from each other. All we need to do is to keep counting up by threes to locate the 4 chord notes. Starting on F# and counting up three we come to A, counting up three more we get to C and finally up three more we reach Eb. The notes for the Adim chord (A, C, Eb and F#) are located in the same manner.
The Dm7b5 symbol indicates that we need to play a D half diminished chord. All we need to do is to add the 7th to the first three notes of the diminished chord. The first 3 notes of this chord are found in the same manner that we used to locate the notes of the diminished chords above. So starting on D we count up three semitones to get to F and then another 3 semitones to get to G#. To these notes we add the 7th which you will remember is located 2 semitones down from the main or root note, in this case that note will be C.
Style: Jazzy swing
Accompaniment: Quick Step
Keyboard Intro: play last phrase with keyboard intro
Verse 1: play basic chords and use keyboard "fill-in" button
Verse 2: improvise over chords using pentatonic scale
Verse 3: add in filler notes and crush notes
Ending: crush notes and chord note with abrupt ending
The story so far:
You can now add augmented and augmented 7th, diminished and half diminished chords and crush notes to the list of features that could be included in sheet music when you are looking for your own music or songs to play.
Remember your own music could also include the following from previous songs that we have learned:
Time signatures: 3/4, 4/4, 6/8
Note range: B below middle C to upper A
Keys: C major F major G major E minor D minor
Additional notation: ties, sharps, flats, naturals, repeat dots, first and second time bars, Da Capo al Fine, crush notes
Left hand chords:
Major - A B Bb C D E F G
Minor – Bbm Dm Em Gm
Dominant 7th – C7 D7 G7 A7
Minor 7th - Am7 Dm7 Em7
Major 7th - CM7 FM7
Augmented 7th: C7#5, G7#5
Diminished: F#dim, Adim
Half Diminished: Dm7b5
I have located some more lead sheets in the fake book that I am using as a reference for this course that are suitable for the skill level that we have developed so far.
Blue Bayou (1961) – Roy Orbison
Good Golly Miss Molly (1957) – Robert Blackwell, John Marascalco
In the Still of the Night (1956) – Fred Parris
Perhaps these are songs that you would like to add to your repertoire?
If you would like to watch the full Frankie and Johnnie tutorial and the other tutorials in the keyboard learning series, sign up for your free 14 day trial.
OK – I’ve done my playing – now over to you.