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Lesson 40: Intros and Outros

On Intros and Outros

A great way to personalize a jazz standard is to write an intro and/ or outro to it. An intro/ outro can be:

  • a written part that draws from the tune or a part of it
  • a vamp to improvise over
One thing that always works is to play the last four or eight bars of the tune - with or without the melody. This is the oldest trick in the world, still very useful if you don't have an intro/ outro and have to "do something" in order to get into or out of the tune...

Some Examples Played/ Written by Others

Example 1: Intro to How Insensitive ( Antonio Carlos Jobim) played by Bob Russell

Example 2: Intro to Instant Blues by Stefan "Kilju" Lindblom

This intro nicely establishes the groove before the head enters.

Some Examples Written by Me

Example 3: Intro to Cry Me a River by Arthur Hamilton

This intro starts with an open jam vamp in C Dorian.

Example 4: Intro to The Girl from Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Example 5: Intro to Manha de Carnaval by Luiz Bonfá

This chordmelody thing on the dominant is from the A harmonic minor scale.

Example 6: Intro to Night and Day by Cole Porter

This intro draws from the chords of the A part of the form. It is based on a favorite voicing of mine, consisting of stacked fifths, which has a nice open ring to it.

Example 7: Outro to Night and Day by Cole Porter

This is a very common latin-type solo vamp. Note how it derives from the intro - just changed to double-time...

Example 8: Outro to My Heart Belongs to Daddy by Cole Porter

This chordmelody thing on the dominant is from the A harmonic minor scale.

Example 9: Outro to Stella by Starlight by Victor Young and Ned Washington

Bars 9-10 can be repeated ad libitum. "The fourths thing" is from the G Lydian mode and it can be expanded upon, played all over the neck in the following fashion:

Example 10: Generic Chromatic Outro

This outro consists of chromatically descending major seventh chords.

Example 11: Generic Bluesy Outro

© 2006 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.