‘All The Things You Are’ – 11 Practice Exercises
I often get asked questions by my guitar students about building an effective practice routine for learning the common jazz standards.
These guitarists are usually looking for a routine that will combine ‘comping’ (chordal accompaniment) exercises and some studies applicable to single-line improvisation. In this article I am going to give you an eleven point practice schedule built on these lines for the well known jazz standard ‘All The Things You Are’.
ATTYA is a popular composition for detailed practice/study with many jazz musicians. The song has multiple key changes to negotiate, covers several common II V I sequences and is generally regarded as an important composition to have in your performance repertoire.
Learn The Melody First
Before you delve into the full practice regime in detail, I believe that it’s very important to memorise a composition’s melody first and before doing anything else. This means that you should know a melody well and be able to play it without hesitation in more than one fingerboard location. For copyright reasons I’m not publishing the melody here, however you can find the original melody for ‘All The Things You Are’ in any good quality fake book.
The ‘All The Things You Are’ Workout
The PDF at the bottom of this page offers you 11 specific exercises that you can practice through the first eight bars of ‘All The Things You Are’ (n.b. once you have thoroughly learned the various routines, remember to take them through the remainder of the composition)
The full practice routine includes the following exercises:
- Fixed Interval Arpeggios
- Mixed Arpeggios
- 3rds and 7ths (‘Guide-Tones’)
- Roots and 10ths
- Chord Scales leading to Chord Tones
- Complete Chord Tones – Root, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13
- 4 – Note ‘Coltrane’ Patterns
- Close Position Triads
- Wide Triads
- Drop 2 Chords
- Mixed Drop 2/ 3 and Altered Dominants
This practice routine represents just some of the practice approaches you could employ when learning a new composition/standard. The routine covers both single-line material and harmonic studies. This list is of course not an exhaustive one, but does represent what I feel are some effective practice exercises.
Here’s an example of just one of the eleven practice exercises, which in this case focuses upon playing all of the available chord tones for each chord within the first eight bars of ‘All The Things You Are’. This outlines the R, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th of each chord type.
You will notice from the above example that some of the chords have a #11 added as a chord tone. This is a common alteration added to both dominant 7th and major 7th chords. You will also see on the G7 chord several alterations have been added as chord tones (b5, #5, b9, #9)
I would suggest playing just one exercise at a time until you can play it from memory before moving on to the others.
Here is the PDF of the 11 point practice plan
(n.b. this PDF is in standard music notation however I will be adding a tab version very soon)