Jingle Bells

LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
edited August 2016 in Guitar Chat
I am working on Jingle Bells and want to stretch myself by changing the feel of the song. In two places I reckon I could use the jazz change that I cannot quite remember - the one where you put in two extra chords (maybe II V) to go up a 4th. Let me demonstrate it (badly) and explain in this video. All suggestions appreciated. The song is in C, the melody starts on E and I am only doing the chorus, at least for now.

The chords, bar by bar are:
C C C C7
F C D7 G7
C C C C7
F C G7 C

Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    You've got me thinking now Lester! For bar 4 to get to the F you could indeed put in a 2-5, so that would be Gm7 followed by C7. Try these two chords, see what you think:

    Gm7: 3x333x or 3x3333 if you want the top string
    C9: x3233x or x32333 again if you want the top string.

    I think they do give a softer kind of sound. There are things you can do with the second line, and the rest, as well - I'll be back with more in a bit!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Although thinking about it, the melody note in the 4th bar is a E, which might be considered a bit of a clash with the D (second string) in those chords. I think it's OK, but a matter of taste perhaps.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Actually, how about this for bar 4:

    Gm11: 3x331x
    Gb7b5: 2x231x (can also be though of as a C7b5 - same notes!)

    which would lead to this Fmaj7 in bar 5:
    Fmaj7: 1x221x

    ...smooth jazz or what!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    edited September 2016
    OK, I have a possible 2nd line for you:

    bar 5: Fmaj7 1x221x Bb9 6x656x
    bar 6: Ami7 3x333x (or Ami11 3x331x is quite nice) D9 x5455x
    bar 7: Dmi9 x5355x
    bar 8: G7/6sus 3x355x or 3x3553

    Your Cadd9-C-Cmaj7 opening idea reminds me of "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian btw - lovely song...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuejJlqnvwk&feature=fvst lovely...
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Could add a bit of spice to bar 8 by going:

    G7/6sus 3x3553 for 2 beats then
    G7#5 3x3443 for 2 beats (note on high E string optional for both chords)

    I was even tempted to go G13sus 3x3555 then G7#5b9 3x3444, though there is a possible clash with the G melody note. You could even change the root on the 2nd of these chords to give a Db9 x43444 (a flat 5 substitution) which would then drop down nicely to some sort of C major type chord in bar 9, C6/9 x32233 perhaps. Maybe you can get away with it though - another judgement call. Pesky melody getting in the way of nice jazz chords lol!
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    With that last post I'm starting to think I'm needing one of those enigma machines!

    I only understand I IV and V.
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,320Member
    I refuse to think about anything Christmas-related until 1st December!

    Dave
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    Megi's on one!
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    edited September 2016
    Thanks, Megi. I'll play around with those for a few days and see which start to sit most comfortably. I'll report back in due course.

     Originally Posted By: Megi
    (or Ami11 3x331x is quite nice)

    You big teaser, you're checking that I am learning not just reading, aren't you? Am11 will be 5x553x. Nice chord.

     Originally Posted By: Megi
    Your Cadd9-C-Cmaj7 opening idea reminds me of "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian btw - lovely song...

    It does, doesn't it. It sounds like she plays Cadd9, C, Cmaj7, C6 (taking the top note down to an A) whereas I take the last step back up to the C. I thought that Jingle Bells had too steady a rhythm up until the dotted note at Jingle all the way. I liked that and so put that rhythm from the start and kept the dotted note rhythm (if that's the correct term) going.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Well done Lester, I was wondering if you'd spot my deliberate mistake ... Indeed Am11 would be 5x553x.

    I guess you (and Janice Ian!) are using a Latin bossa type of feel. You're right, she does seem to go down to a C6 x322xx or something like that. I was playing around with these 3 C chords:

    Cmaj9 x3243x
    C6 x3221x
    Cmaj7 x3200x

    which work quite well over the C stuff in the first line. However, I think your (and Janice Ian's) version is at least as nice.

    Sorry if I went a bit overboard chaps - Lester did say he wanted jazz chords for Jingle Bells, and it doesn't take much for me to start spewing them out lol!
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    It's a wonderful thing to see.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    Just reporting back afer 5 days of faffing around with some jazz chords. Having added a few bars, I now have, bar by bar (each comma is a bar line):

    Intro: Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C , Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C
    Line 1: Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C , Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C , Cadd9 C , Gm11 , C9 C#9
    Line 2: Dm7 , C maj7 , Dm9 Dm7 Dm9 , G13
    Line 3: Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C , Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C , Cadd9 C , Cadd9 , Cadd9 (only a 2 beat bar)
    Outro: Cadd9 C , Cmaj7 C , repeat and fade

    If you want a laugh, this evening I put all the chords into Band-in-a-Box and recorded a very rough guide vocal so that I can play along and see whether it is all starting to fall into place or not.

    http://soundcloud.com/lesterpeters/jingle-bells-rough-vocal

    Warning: if you do listen be aware that I have been in bands that said I was not even good enough for backing vocals! What's the chance of getting Astrud Gilberto to help me out?
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    Lester,were you ever a member of Kraftwerk?
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    I can't see the connection. How did you think of that?
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    I don't know,it just struck me.....
    The vocal/lyric aspect I suspect.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    What are your chances of getting Astrud Gilberto in to do the vocals? Close to zero I would imagine! But I do now see more of what you are going for - a a chic, sophisticated, Latin style Jingle Bells, and why not... I didn't realise the extent to which you are playing around with the timing - again nothing wrong with that, although as I'm sure you realised, my suggested chords were assuming a normal timing. Hope they helped to get you thinking along the right lines at least - there are always so many possibilities that really all you can do is show a few example ideas. In the end I wasn't convinced by the altered spicy chords I suggested - for me I like to keep it a little sweeter sounding, maybe hanging on a Gsus type chord at the end of the second line for a bit of a hip modern kind of sound. How about getting a smooth-jazz George Benson-y style solo in there with your Burny archtop? Good stuff! (despite the vocals)...
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    edited September 2016
     Originally Posted By: Megi
    (despite the vocals)

    <hangs head in shame> I know, I know, I shouldn't have.

    Thanks Megi, you have given me a few jazz chords - manageably few is what makes it so practical - that I am enjoying playing around with them. You have opened a door that has proved difficult in the past - because whenever I have expressed an interest in jazz I have ended up with Micky Baker's 26 chords to learn before I could take my first step, so just having a few to play with is so much more fun and should make the jazz part of the course less of a shock when I get there.

    I came across a great Bossa Nova rhythm tutorial on YouTube and am learning the simple Bossa rhythm from this chap while fingering my new chords.

    George Benson? I'd love to. I reckon I am too far down the track with Jingle Bells but I will in a future exercise. Ode to Joy was the first, Jingle Bells is only the second of over 40 exercise songs in the course so there will be plenty more opportunities.

    Regarding messing with the timing, I am not sure whether that's a good thing or not but I wanted the song to feel more like I am relaxed on a beach in the summer with a pina colada in my hand and having the extra bar after the first phrase and its repeat just gave the song a different feel. And once you've started making changes it becomes easier to justify it elsewhere. I am just not sure whether it would be better not to mess.

    Overall, I could get through the Learn & Master Guitar exercise by strumming a simple rhythm and playing the melody notes but I know I can do that already and I am so wanting to raise my game from 'I can play guitar' to 'People enjoy listening when I play' so I am pushing myself to be a better player.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    I had the first Mickey Baker book when I started trying to play jazz (about 30 years ago!) - I know what you mean about the "learn this list of chord shapes" approach - although it has to be a bit like that at first, it's better to learn things as you use them in a musical setting such as your Latin Jingle Bells. I think Roberta Sa would be the perfect choice to do the vocals BTW: Roberta Sa - if you manage to get her, can I come along to the recording session as well?
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    I had a great night out in Lisbon years ago listening to stuff like that.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    It's getting better, I think. I have listened to the comments, sped it up (to 124 bpm), cut out a few bars and taken a first shot at the guitar part - except I need more practice making the changes in time.

    http://soundcloud.com/lesterpeters/jingle-bells-rough-vocal

    Megi I have one question. Dm9, x5355x. I feel I want to play a bar (of 4 notes) like this: x5355x, x5353x, x5353x, x5355x, with the B string following the melody for that bar. It sounds nicer to me. What do you say? Is it naff or cool to follow the melody?

    And yes, Roberta Sá's voice would do wonders for this song.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Re the Dm9 I think that's fine - x5353x is a Dm7 anyway, plus if something sounds better to you, it can't be "wrong". Also it's good to be thinking about the melody - interesting in fact to play around trying to find chord voicings that exactly follow the whole melody - this sort of noodling around will lead one into the noble art of jazz chord-melody playing. You're right about the tempo, that is an improvement I would say. You've made your vocals sound... ...searches for the right word... ...acceptable though I will just have to imagine the effect Roberta Sá would have (sigh).

    I have been playing around with these chords as a kind of intro or outro, which would work with Jingle Bells or a lot of other tunes I would think:

    Cmaj9 x32430
    Am11 5x553x
    Dm9 x53553
    G7/6sus 3x3553

    ...for each chord play the highest note after the lower ones, with a bossa kind of rhythm overall - hope that conveys what I'm meaning. Some other interesting alternative chords are:

    Cmaj,add9 x32030
    Am9 x0541 or 5x541 - bit of a stretch! but nice
    Dm,add9/11 (I guess you would call it!) x53050
    G9 3x320x or G9sus 3x3210

    Again I would play the highest note after the others, except for the Dm chord which sounds nice with everything at once. It's all really just messing around with a standard 1-6-2-5 progression, but sounds nice to me.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Sorry Lester - just reading my post it could be mis-interpreted - I was sighing at the thought of the lovely Roberta Sá, and not your recording or arrangement, which is excellent!
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    Thanks for the help, here is my finished Bossa Nova style Jingle Bells exercise for Session 2 of Gibson's Learn & Master Guitar course.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    It's great! A completely unique version, love it Lester, nice to think I might have helped a little bit. What's next up on the agenda?
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    Megi, it may look like you only helped with three new chords: Dm9, G13, Gm11, but actually it was more than that, inspiring me to find the jazzy bossa voicing I could envisage but couldn't come up with. Thanks very much for your suggestions.

    Next up will be London Bridge is Falling Down. It will have to push me to try something new again. I am having a whale of a time on this course being creative, improving my playing and recording and mixing as best as I can.
  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,320Member
     Originally Posted By: Lester
    here is my finished Bossa Nova style Jingle Bells

    I LOLed. \:D \:D \:D

    Sorry.

    Nice chords and melody, but the lyrics are totally incongruous. Sleighing over the beach at Ipanema?!

    Write new lyrics and you've got yourself a new song.

    Dave
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    No need to be sorry, Dave. I needed to play Jingle Bells as an exercise on a a course I am doing but I wanted to be creative with it whilst still being seen to be playing Jingle Bells and thought how can I make this well known Christmas song say, "summer," instead of, "winter." Your mention of the beach in Rio proves that I hit my target.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    And my final post here: the video.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Video too! love it Lester. Hope you don't mind just one observation, but at about 0.40/0.41 on the video you play a C9 chord which really doesn't work for me - I would have said instead something like the G13 you use elsewhere: 3x3453, since the progression is then moving to the C major type home chords, so the G13 to C major would make sense as it is a 5 to 1 progression. But we do all hear things differently of course!
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,706Member, Moderator
    I am listening to what you say, honest! My lesser thinking was that I wanted a chord with the G on the top string. G13 would have done it in style. Thanks for pointing it out; I will try to remember the V-I principle for next time.
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