You Can learn how to play Angel Eyes by Frank Sinatra!
Angel Eyes is a slightly less known jazz standard, sung by Frank Sinatra among others. It was composed by Matt Dennis back in 1953.
The verse is at home in Aeolian. Using an almost chromatic descending bass line, it moves Am – Am/G – Am/F – Am/E – Am/Eb.
This is a very sad movement, so when moving to the bridge’s II – V – I, we get a serious dose of harmonic release.
The bridge section is actually in a new key and there’s plenty more to investigate when it comes to Angel Eyes chord progression. I’ll tell you all about it in the advanced acoustic guitar course.
Moving a chord progression around the fret board
Being in Am, it is certainly very tempting to use the open position chords as you see first in the video above.
The bass line really shines this way, but staying down there for the whole song may become a bit boring if you have jazzier aspirations.
The second time the verse appears, we play around fret five instead using an Am chord in an Em shape. Still, applying the bass line.
This way, when you go back to the open position Am, it sounds even bigger!
By using different positions of the same chord progression like this we can create natural dynamics in any song.
Angel Eyes in the guitar course
This is a jazz standard and the whole point of a jazz standard is that you can play the chords, the melody, as well as improvise over it.
When you take the course we do just that by:
- Understanding the chord progression
- Identifying the active modes
- Playing the vocal melody
- Developing the melody
- Improvising over all sections
Only by going this far will you fully understand how Angel Eyes is constructed. Only by digging this deep can you learn from the song.
Angel Eyes – Guitar Lessons
Angel Eyes by Matt Dennis will soon be available as eight step by step guitar lessons.
Until then, there’s complete TAB for what I play in the video available.
Go to Angel Eyes – Coming Soon.
Angel Eyes – Lyrics
Try to think that love’s not around,
but it’s uncomfortably near.
My old heart ain’t gaining no ground,
because my angel eyes ain’t here.
Go to Angel Eyes – Lyrics.
Frank Sinatra – Biography
Frank’s legacy might best be summed up by Stephen Holden who wrote for the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide:
“Frank Sinatra’s voice is pop music history. Like Presley and Dylan – Sinatra will last indefinitely. He virtually invented modern pop song phrasing.”
Go to Frank Sinatra – Biography.
Matt Dennis – Biography
Exposed to music from an early age with parents being professional musicians, Matt Dennis took to the piano, singing and arranging like a fish to water!
Performing with his family from an early age in the Vaudeville tradition, Matt got to know American showbiz before he even learned to read or write.
Go to Matt Dennis – Biography.