Our next jam is September 6th, during Labor Day weekend. If you aren’t squeezing in your final trip of the summer join us at the Fountain where “Summertime” is our featured tune of the week.
This is another of those must know tunes and luckily it isn’t difficult to learn. UW Music Professor John Schaffer says a blues usually has a statement repeated twice followed by a different concluding statement. Summertime has three similar statements followed by a different concluding statement. It also moves to the four chord in bar five, another common trait of many blues. Although some might not agree, I think it’s safe to say “Summertime” is a blues.
We will play it in A minor. You can use the pentatonic or blues scale liberally but you’ll want to mix that up with following the changes to keep it interesting. Listening to recordings should give you lots of ideas. This song has been done in just about any way you can imagine: fast, slow, bluesy, rockin, funk, etc. You want to know it well enough to be able to adapt in the moment if it should head off in one of these directions. Here are three very different versions: