Cherokee is right up there with the blues and rhythm changes in terms of tunes you need to know and be able to play on convincingly. Cherokee can be particularly intimidating because of the tempo that it is normally played at. I’m talking break-neck, 300 miles an hour here. The good news is that everyone you have ever heard play Cherokee at mach speed had to practice it slowly at some point. That’s the first piece of advice in this episode, slow down!
This tune is not all that complicated, especially after talking about Coltrane Changes for the past two weeks! This week we break down what makes Cherokee tick and I show you a certain way of breaking down the ii-V-I’s into something a little less intimidating. Once you get over the initial intimidation, you start to see how beneficial this tune can be for your practice routine. The amount of keys that it covers is astounding and can be a great daily process to get your technique and mind ready for whatever is thrown at you. Enjoy the episode!
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Great episode…a lot to dig into. One thing, though, am I missing where the PDFs for each lesson are found?
Hey Randy! Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I just straight up forgot to include the link…..my bad. It’s on there now you should be able to download the chord progression. Have fun!
Great lesson. Where is the link for the line
Hey, it’s awesome that you’re doing these. Your playing sounds great too. A Cherokee thing that I think is worth mentioning is that, in the bridge, the key centers are descending whole steps. So each “I” goes major to minor in becoming ii of the following key center. Major to minor is a good thing to practice a lot, and Cherokee bridge is really good for that.
And +1 for slowing down. Giant Steps is great as a ballad…especially since that’s the only way I can play it 😉
Thanks for the comment. You’re absolutely correct about the key centers. It’s interesting that there are so many different ways to think about song structures that make sense. I’m going to try your way with some of my students as another option for clarifying things.