I was wanting to learn some more tunes but instead of trying to expand my repertoire of jazz standards (which is never a bad thing!) I decided to work on songs that really resonated with me and the music I grew up listening to. I was finding myself more drawn to pop tunes with strong melodic content which I thought would make great vehicles for solo piano arrangements and improvisation.
One that I’ve been having some fun with recently is the Beatles’ "Michelle." I tried to keep the main elements of the harmony in tact to not disrupt the beautiful play between major and minor resolution present in the original. However, I wanted to sneak a few surprising changes in there to give the arrangement its own identity. When I arrange a piece, I like to incorporate some concepts that I’d to more fluidly include in my solo piano playing -- in this arrangement I was trying to sneak in some atypical drop 2 voicings (with a crunchy diminished sound), some hybrid chords, 4th voicings, along with melodic counterlines in the left hand. See if you can spot these different techniques in the arrangement!
This is a fairly advanced arrangement so instead of the typical tutorial I usually do, I decided to perform the arrangement (along with an improvised solo) and transcribe it note-for-note! This was a labor of love for sure and an experiment in learning some new technology. Let me know what you think!
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Thanks for checking it out and happy shedding!