George Gershwin – Summertime (Tab)

Summertime (Tab)

Having spent my summer break measuring cotton and watching tench pole-vaulting, I thought this song from Porgy and Bess best summed up my experience.

I’ve done a few jazz tabs in the past (like Take Five and La Vie en Rose) but this is the first time I’ve used a jazz approach and used the tune as a springboard for soloing. In this arrangement I play the melody straight for the first verse. Then semi-improvise around the tune for the next two verses. Each with a different scale.

In the second verse I’m use the G blues scale. The main shapes I’m using to solo are:

There’s an exception in bar 23 (and later in bar 39). That little turnaround lick is adapted from the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald version of the tune.

I get more adventurous in the third verse and mostly use the G harmonic minor scale. I had fun playing around with the scale. The wide gap between the Eb and Gb notes give it an unsettling feel.

These two scale boxes I’m using:

I also borrow an F (A-string, 8th fret) from the G melodic minor scale in bar 37.

I highly recommend you play around with the scales and phrasing in this piece to come up with your own version. There’s much more on the blues scale and soloing in the How to Play Blues Ukulele ebook.


Buy the Ella Fitzgerald version
More jazz tabs and chords

View Comments

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now