Sweet Georgia Brown
November 6, 2014 at 1:59 AM #11441November 6, 2014 at 3:46 AM #11444
Ah, sweet Georgia Brown! How could I ever forget her!
*** The crowd stands and a thunderous applause echoes through the concert hall*** BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! FATASTICO! PIÙ!!! PIÙ!!! PIÙ!!!
Luv, luv, LUV that 1920’s feel! I have been waiting all night for this!
This was excellent, John! And the smile on your face and the sigh at the end makes me think you really enjoyed playing it and were so happy with your performance / recording of it. I liked your improvised version the best!
Well done, buddy! Well done!! 🙂November 6, 2014 at 7:48 AM #11448
I love that song! Wonderful arrangement, John and your playing is superb!November 6, 2014 at 12:21 PM #11468
AWESOME, John! That was outstanding playing! OK…this is next on my list!
Thanks so much for all the great resources for the lesson. If I sleep on my laptop tonight, can I just absorb all this???!!
I might add a basketball to my routine, too…
AngelaNovember 6, 2014 at 2:44 PM #11480
I though about playing this while spinning a basketball on my bow-tip, but then I decided that would just be too much showboating.November 6, 2014 at 8:01 PM #11487
Wow John, What a fantastic lesson. This exceeds anything I ever imagined. You are an amazing teacher and if possible an even better fiddle player. Thanks so much for everything you do. I am so glad to have found this site. I will always be awe of your ability, dedication and sincere appreciation of music and helping others. You are truly an inspiration to us all.
THANK YOU!!!!November 7, 2014 at 1:48 AM #11495
That was REALLY impressive! That performance video is just amazing. I’m definitely re-inspired!November 7, 2014 at 2:04 AM #11497
That was HOT!!!! Sweet, swingin’, fast and sassy! WOW! I love it, John! I can’t wait until I achieve intermediate level skill so I can give that a go.
Thanks!!November 16, 2014 at 2:30 PM #11996
Wow John ! That was awesome. Cant wait to get there, that one place where I can take the precious time for this one , love those octaves in unison and all the slides ooooo, so nice,thanks John, your amazing.Great lesson,incredibly smooth and flavorful playing !!!November 16, 2014 at 9:51 PM #12001
I thoroughly enjoyed this lesson, John. A lot of hard work on your part. My sincere “Thanks” for a job well done. I learned this tune in F Major some time ago, but playing it in G is exciting as it’s easier to get “bluesy” with it. Wonderful.March 30, 2015 at 10:19 PM #19907
OOOOOO Cant wait :O)
GuMarch 31, 2015 at 12:30 AM #19914
Go for it, Gu!September 21, 2015 at 10:03 AM #27016
I am working through your wonderful arrangement.
Found the Christiaan Van Hemert Youtube video and I see why you credit him:
Also stumbled upon this – an interesting historical aspect to the tune:
Question: You teach it in G. But also play it in F. Which key is more common or favored and by whom?
Thanks for all you have done.
JeremySeptember 21, 2015 at 2:56 PM #27034
Gypsy Jazz violin rules ?❤️?????, thanks for the video,
GuSeptember 21, 2015 at 11:01 PM #27043
Yes! A lot of my break is Christiaan Van Hemert, so I had to give him a shout out in the video. That dude is completely awesome.
Most bluegrass guitar players like to pitch the song in ‘G’ so they can play all their favorite G-runs without putting the capo on the 10th fret. 🙂 Sometimes, as a fiddler, you are simply at the mercy of the guitar and banjo. They both hate the key of F.October 30, 2015 at 10:49 AM #28245
John, your playing of the advanced version brings tears to my eyes. Tears of joy for how well you’re interpreting this piece. Wonderful, wonderful playing.
Thanks so much.
Fred.October 30, 2015 at 2:53 PM #28248
Wow Fred, thank you! That is a great compliment, especially coming from you. It is great to hear from you!October 30, 2015 at 9:30 PM #28254
Fred! You put this back on my radar screen.
So, tonight, I’ve learned the run-down intro, and boy was that fun and cool!!! So, this is the next one I’m learning for sure. Stop the presses.
John, thanks for this great lesson. For the advanced call and repeat, I’m only getting audio. Is it just me? The other videos are fine.
Look out, globetrotters, you’ll have a new band member soon. :^D
AngelaNovember 9, 2015 at 9:59 AM #28459
I just took a quick visit to NOLA…first time there. I’m inspired!! Learned a lot musically. Came back and continued working on this one. I have a basic beginning version down. Now I’m working on the intermediate you have here.
John, another improv question we’ve sort of already covered….but, when you do the last improv break on your video here (which is awesome) are you thinking chords at all….or are you just totally letting your ear lead you?
And, if you’re thinking chords….what are you thinking? and if you’re just letting your ear lead you, what is your inspiration? Does that make sense?
ah….what the heck….I’m attaching what I have so far…..I have a long way to go. But a journey of a 1000 miles starts with 1 step, right????
November 9, 2015 at 12:51 PM #28464
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Lovely Angela, my goodness that sounded fine alright, you got it back on my radar now! Yeeeehaw, is it the fiddle , the strings, the bridge , the love you put into it, You, what a great sound your making all together, nice violin ! Is it the diy one? ?
Have a great day!
GuNovember 9, 2015 at 10:10 PM #28483
Thanks, Gu. The room has pretty good reverb in it…that helps!! haha
It is the DIY!!
Work on this one, Gu. It will stretch you! :^D
AngelaNovember 9, 2015 at 11:34 PM #28490
Angela, you sounded great on the short break! Very jazzy and natural!
Is the video working for you? I didn’t have any trouble seeing it.
Short answer, but more later: When I improvise, I play a lot of scales within the chord structure. I’m not really thinking chords though. Often I have no idea what chord is being played. I am mostly filling in the notes around a basic melody.November 10, 2015 at 12:12 AM #28491
Angela – Very Sweet!!November 24, 2016 at 12:04 AM #43363
oh pooh…Guitar player here just said he wants me to learn this in F. Got some transposing to do it looks like.
Great versions though John. Wish me luck..hahaNovember 25, 2016 at 11:08 PM #43442
Things are coming along on learning this tune… but I have a “theory” question John.November 26, 2016 at 12:17 AM #43452
Hi Dave! Unfortunately, that’s not going to work well. Here are the seven chords that my fiddle is actually noting during that run (If I were playing in the key of F, four notes per chord):
F6, E6, Eb6, D6, Db6, C6, F
The Sweet Georgia Brown chords that my band plays for those same notes are:
F7, E7, Eb7, D7, G7, C7, F
Even though the notes I play don’t exactly match the band’s Sweet Georgia Brown chords, they still sound OK.
The seven chords you are playing during that run are as follows:
CMaj7, CMaj7, BbMaj7, BbMaj7, Bbm7, C6, F.
These, particularly the first four chords, do not fit very well and won’t sound great with the jam track. However, your band may play different chords than my band, in which case it may sound fabulous.
Any chance you can get your guitar player to put his capo on the second fret and play the song in G? That would save you from having to transpose! 🙂November 26, 2016 at 12:39 AM #43454
The question was more just for me than about transposing. What I was doing had a similar sound to me but didn’t seem like it matched up with what I was looking for. I don’t have a problem moving the lick you used around, I was just tying to figure out a different position to play it out of while experimenting around. I was guessing I was incorrect but couldn’t figure out why. When I read the CMAJ7 I knew right away why starting on the B didn’t work. Thanks for the quick and informative response.
Robbie (guitar) is a texas swing guy. He was fairly adamant he preferred F for a key if possible. I’m thinking I’ll have him cut a rhythm track and provide a chart for chords. Then I can play to it and put it up here and go from there.
I will probably write a second version from ear (how i’m quickest) and then tackle transposing things from here for a third break if it works with robbies chords.
I’ve actually found several good versions in F I can appropriate things from. Pretty much have the basic melody learned and am familiar with the song enough to improvise over much of it with licks I already know. Now just working on coming up with a couple alternate versions that are more in tune with what I hear as a western swing type sound than just my jumble of improv licks.
I am absolutely having a ball working on this tune! Thanks again for the help.
November 27, 2016 at 12:11 AM #43525
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Glad to help! My suggested run doesn’t completely gel with the chords either, but it such a cool run I don’t mind “shoehornign” it into the song there. In the end, you just have to let your ear decide!
When you are playing with horns, you usually have to play in Ab. Check out Mark O’Conner shredding in Ab here. This man is a fiddle god.
Most gypsy jazz bands tend to play it in G. Here is Django/Grappelli.
Bluegrass pickers tend to play it in F. Here is a great version of Tim Crouch playing an awesome break in F.
Just to give you something to work on, I’ve transposed the intermediate version to F, and added a few more breaks in F. The new links are available on the lesson page an also on the sheet music page.November 27, 2016 at 12:41 AM #43529
I already have O’Connor’s vid bookmarked. Been listening to everything I can by Mark since he put out his first album.
Wow, listening to Grappelli I was struck how much his melody choices sound like Benny Goodman’s stuff. (or the other way around maybe?)
I’ve run across Tim crouch before on other stuff..awesome player! I’ll be hitting that vid hard in the near future for sure.
Been listening to Jason Anick and Jeremy Cohen also.
Please know that I really appreciate the extra time you are spending helping out with this.
It’s a job finding things I can understand enough to figure out, and have the dexterity to pull off, but i’m loving it.
November 27, 2016 at 12:56 AM #43533
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Benny Goodman definitely borrowed from Grapelli. He also has a pretty mean version of this tune in Ab somewhere on the internet.
You are doing great. It’s exciting to watch!November 27, 2016 at 1:13 AM #43535
Mr. Goodman was always one of my favorite melody builders.November 27, 2016 at 10:15 AM #43543
Oh goodness…I’ve just discovered Alex DePue…November 27, 2016 at 5:59 PM #43569
Sweet Georgia Brown! (I’m starting a new saying.) After hearing that, now I want to hear the person who is wearing the blue ribbon!
Alex DePue is amazing! Loved the “Jingle Bells” shout-out. And what about that index finger? I haven’t seen that style before.November 27, 2016 at 7:40 PM #43573
yes the finger. I liked the whole DS section.
Great new saying!
More listening than playing today…More Depue (Grand Masters), Benny T,
Chubby, Texas Shorty, and another new find: Dick Barrett.
I’m about “noted up” enough to go play for a while again…hahaNovember 28, 2016 at 5:53 PM #43614
Have to put this one in…nice mix with two fiddles…can’t figure out how they keep from getting lost…
Solo fiddling is great, but look what happens when it’s a relational experience, how much fun these two sisters have…November 28, 2016 at 7:03 PM #43615
Like anything Roger, if you play it enough times the next part/note comes naturally. After awhile a wonderful thing happens: the fingers “remember” individual notes/patterns for you (muscle memory) and the mind can take care of the big picture, how to group licks or plan how to start the next lead.
Even most improvising is simply using new combinations of memorised/rehearsed passages against a chord progression.
I’ve gotten lost several hundred times just trying to figure out one little lick before, but it comes along eventually if I keep at it.
If you listened to this paying close attention (like you are on a mission) 1000 times, I bet you can predict what lick they will play next.January 2, 2017 at 5:58 PM #44873
John when you play the last verse are you thinking chords or scales or just totally going by ear and feel?January 2, 2017 at 11:08 PM #44908
Kind of a combination of scales and feel. The first verses were rehearsed. However, I mostly improvsed on the last verse then transcribed it after-the-fact.January 3, 2017 at 5:15 PM #44920
OK…I scrolled through this conversation and saw where I asked this same question a year ago. haha.
I’ve tried slowing it way down and trying to improvise over this…still can’t do it. Now that you mention it, I can just barely play any of it. LOL
Thanks for the response (again), John.
AngelaJanuary 3, 2017 at 5:27 PM #44921
This is a pretty advanced song to practice improv on! Since the chords are given in the tablature, I suggest you approach it from a “scales” angle. Every time the chord changes, begin scaling around in the new chord.
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