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Last Updated August 3, 2020, 10:02 am 🖶

Blue Monk, Thelonius Monk


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Concert Key - Sheets

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What Key am I in?

The first note of the tune is not the key. The melody starts an ascending run up starting from the major 3rd up from the root (Doh Ray Me)
Monk's recordings are mostly in B. (Melody starting on Major 3rd = E-flat guitar / F# sax)
Most others, including Dexter Gordon and Herbie Hancock play it in F. (Melody starting on A guitar / B sax ) The tune kicks off with two chromatic runs to land on the octave above the root. Monk;s version Key B - Start chromatics on E-flat and go up to the B above. Dexter Gordon's Version - Key F - Start on A and work up to the Oct F above. Starting with 4-note ascending runs from the
3rd,4th flat 5th, 5th then
another from the 6th, flat 7th, 7th 8th = Root not Octave above. Common keys F-blues starting on A = Sax G-blues (Concert F) starting on b , C-blues starting on E , B-blues starting on E-flat

Roccos Jazz Club Blue Monk Key

F Start ascending melody on 3rd = A , and step up semi-tones 'till you reach the C = 5th scale degree . Then same again from the D to the top F = 8th
We have guitars, piano, tenor sax, soprano sax and E-flat alto Sax. So lets fix the key to concert F. I (Leon) don't think of it as either a major or a minor. It's kind of blues. It has tri-tones and chromatic runs all over it. Best to understand the structure and jam it into your head somehow.
Instruments Key Start note
🎸 Guitars & Bass F A
🎹 Piano F A
🎷 Tenor & Soprano Sax G E
🎷 Alto & Baritone Sax D F#
🥁 Drums H minor half snared Triangle :)

Melody Intervalic Structure

  1. Find what key the band are playing it in.
  2. If the root is Doh. Go Doh-Ray-Me to land on the major 3rd starting note.
  3. Play this Major 3rd note to start a chromatic run from the major 3rd up to the 5th. This lands on 3 scale tones 3rd 4th and 5th but fills in the gap between the 4th and 5th. This not between the 4th and 5th is often called the blues note.
  4. Take a one beat rest before jumping up one tone to start the second chromatic run up.
  5. Play this 2nd upward chromatic run from the 6th up to the 8th

    6th flat-7th 7th and Octave 8th

    Note: this chromatic run also lands on 3 out of 4 major scale tones.

  6. Fluff about descending from the 5th back to the root.
  7. Make it up as you go along and hope it generally gels in with the chords
Strangely, Blue Monk does not appear in Real books 1-3 or my other fake books!

Solo Transcription

BLUE MONK Guitar Chords Concert F

Chord Chart for BLUE MONK Guitar Chords Concert F

1. F7 2. Bb7 3. F D7 4. G F7
5. Bb 6. B dim7 7. F7 C7 8. F
9. C7 10. C7 11. F 12. C7