Summertime – a quickie tutorial

In a class I taught last week, we had the opportunity to be joined by a guest singer, Ethel, who I know sings the song “Summertime”. I quickly jotted down the chords and handed them out to the 40+ people in attendance.

To my delight, everyone caught on rather quickly to the familiar tune and Ethel sat it and I must say it was quite wonderful.

This taught us several things: one, how to adapt quickly to a new situation with little or no preparation. Two, it taught us to read a hastily scribbled chart; and Three, it taught us that we could do it easily with success.

One of the little nuances I taught was a little trick with the Dm chord I like and rather than try to describe it here, I made a simple video of how to play the whole song and hopefully, it will be simple for you, too.

Please take a look, and feel free to comment and ask any questions you might have.


10 Responses to “Summertime – a quickie tutorial”

  1. Ann Lombard Says:

    Thanks so much for this great post!!! Summertime is a great song. I like your teaching style looking forward to more.

  2. keithmj Says:

    When you get time can you post the chart? Never mind I read the previous posts and will figure it out..I changed one of my Lanikai Sopranos to the Low G and love the sound. Thanks and I love? the song.

  3. Theo Says:

    Hi Rhan:
    I discovered your blog via the Humble Uker site and REALLY like what you post. Your Summertime arrangement is my favorite post so far. It would be awesome if you posted more of these jazzy sounding arrangements for other standards. I sure appreciate your generosity.
    All the best,

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      Thank you so much for your response. I can see by the number of hits that the Summertime tutorial video is a hit – I am glad you like it.
      I initially picked that song to work on, as while teaching my class (come on down!) I realized that in the other room was a lady who really knows how to sing! I quickly jotted down a chart and hurriedly taught it to the class. We did well, but there were a lot of questions so I realized that I could use it to demonstrate some unique musical qualities, namely the Dm, Dm#7, to Dm7 run.

      Do you have any “jazzy” song requests? I rely on people like you to inform me as to what they want to learn.

      Thanks again for the note and being a part of this instructional forum of mine.


  4. Marilyn Says:

    Are we going to get the music for this on this Wed.? Loved it!

  5. kate riley Says:

    Thanks Rhan, helpful, yes. I wasn’t close enough to get the fingering in class. Love the song, got to see Porky and Bess in NYC when it openedin NYC.
    Ethel sang it like a pro.

  6. William Kelly Says:

    GREAT Lesson, a bit far advanced for me yet, but I’ll be there soon enough!!!!
    Thanks for taking care of us newbies.

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      I am working on a simple tutorial for “Tom Dooley” for you.
      As for “Summertime”, I encourage you to watch the tutorial anyway and just try to absorb it for future use. Take from it what you can and I predict that in a few weeks or months, you will get back to it and have a better understanding.
      “Oh yeah… NOW I get it!” is what you will say.

      Thanks, Bill.


  7. Chuck Says:

    It’s very nice to have this to help out between Wednesdays. Thanks Rhan.

  8. Barb Says:

    I love these! You are so cool! Such a great song too!

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