Lesson Plan


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Lesson notes

In this lesson we’re going to learn the chord changes to multi-­instrumentalist and composer Sam Rivers’ most famous jazz standard, the ballad “Beatrice.” Rivers wrote “Beatrice” in 1964 as a tribute to his wife and muse, Bea Rivers, and first recorded it on his debut album as a bandleader, 1964’s Fuschia Swing Song. “Beatrice” has a short, simple form, with a poignantly singable melody and a wistful but sweet chord progression. The harmony mostly eschews circle of 5ths sequences in favor of step-wise motion and fluctuation between major and minor key areas. In this introductory lesson, we’ll start with the basic form and root position voicings, and then we’ll move on to guide tone voicings in both inversions.