I am trying to figure out the bass line for the aforementioned rendition of a classic jazz standard. I would like to be able to figure out the bass line as well as the melody and incorporate it into a chord-soloing instrumental of the song. I think I have the bass line down that is the root of each chord change within the progression played by the strings. Does it go like this: F-G-AFlat-Fsharp-Csharp-B-bflat then f-bflat-eflat-aflat-a-d-g then it repeats is that right?

Here's the link:

  • It's pretty difficult to tell what you mean with those notes -- could you use Noteflight to generate some notation with your intended rhythm and include it in your question as an image? – NReilingh Sep 1 '13 at 22:45
  • @Chris. Do try not to mix sharps and flats. It's not necessary and musicians don't get on with that concept; it's much easier to read music with just your 'flat' hat OR 'sharp' hat on. The bass line on this recording isn't easy to discern,and we need to know if you're looking at one note per bar or what? – Tim Sep 2 '13 at 7:07

For standard tunes like this, the "changes", or chords are pretty public knowledge -- you just have to know where to find them. Frank is singing in the key of E in this recording, which may or may not be the same as the chords you find, so if you wanted to play along with the recording, you might have to do some transposition.

Turns out you can find a lot of lead sheets right on Google -- the first few results of a search for here's that rainy day lead sheet are scans from a fake book (which are huge repositories of exactly this information, for hundreds of "standard" tunes).

However, that book has the song in the key of G. This means in order to play along with Frank's recording, you will need to transpose each chord down a minor 3rd.

Another tool I personally find very useful is a piece of software called iReal b. Among other things it can be used to store chord changes (which are public domain, by the way) and display them in any transposition. So, I was able to easily pull up the changes for "Here's That Rainy Day" in the key of E:

Here's That Rainy Day

Do not be concerned if the chords here are slightly different from those in the fake book linked earlier -- it is common to see substitutions or alterations; rarely will either version be outright incorrect.

(Also, I checked these out with the recording -- they should fit together with the strings just fine.)

  • This tune is actually in F, not E – Chris Olszewski Sep 2 '13 at 1:10
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    That YouTube posting might be in F-quarter-flat, but that's because it's from a bad vinyl transfer. Listening to the 1999 digital remaster of this album, it is definitely in E. – NReilingh Sep 2 '13 at 2:58
  • @Chris - your version is indeed F. NReilingh - your version is indeed E. That shouldn't really be an issue - I've always played it in G. The important fact is that it's waiting in the real book, and anyway, an instrumental version will be in whatever key the player decides. Several factors will come into play, foremost being the instrument it's to be played on.The chord progression, therefore the potential bass line, is more important. Thanks NReilingh for your efforts, which anyone with a bit of effort could have found.You made that effort. – Tim Sep 2 '13 at 6:59

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