My Funny Valentine chords by Real Book


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My Funny Valentine | Chords + Lyrics


Verse 1

| Cm | Cmmaj7 | Cm7 | Cm6 |
My funny valentine, sweet comic valentine.
| Abmaj7 | Fm7 | Dm7b5 | G7b9 |
You make me smile with my heart.

Verse 2

| Cm | Cmmaj7 | Cm7 | Cm6 |
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable.
| Abmaj7 | Fm7 | Abm6 | Bb7b9 |
Yet, you’re my favorite work of art.

Bridge 1

| Ebmaj7 Fm7 | Gm7 Fm7 |
Is your figure less than Greek?
| Ebmaj7 Fm7 | Gm7 Fm7 |
Is your mouth a little weak?
| Ebmaj7 G7 | Cm Bbm7 A7 | Abmaj7 | Dm7b5 G7b9 |
When you open it to speak, are you smart?

Verse 3

| Cm | Cmmaj7 | Cm7 | Cm6 |
But don’t change your hair for me, not if you care for me.
| Abmaj7 | Dm7b5 G7b9 | Cm | Bbm7 A7#11 |
Stay little valentine, stay.
| Abmaj7 | Fm7 Bb7b9 | Eb6 | (Dm7b5 G7b9) |
Each day is Valentine’s Day.



My Funny Valentine Chords: Learn the progressions!


My Funny Valentine Guitar lesson + TAB T

Chet Baker didn’t write My Funny Valentine, Rogers and Hart did in 1937 for a musical called Babes In Arms.

However, Chet’s version is the one we all know but since there is mainly bass in that arrangement and at the end of the day, the version musicians mean is the one found in the Real Book, let’s focus on that “version”.

At the bottom of the page of the Real Book sheet you can see how it references Miles Davis’s live version (included in the playlist above) this makes little sense to me…

Anyway, let’s focus on the Real Book chords as that’s what everyone knows, and let’s develop a one-guitar arrangement for it so you can play it with a singer and/or soloist.

Verse 1 is 8 bars long and starts with the descending chromatic Cm extensions, synonymous with this tune.

| Cm (VI) | Cmmaj7 | Cm7 | Cm6 |
| Abmaj7 (IV) | Fm7 (II) | Dm7b5 (VII) | G7b9 (IIIx) |

After the signature opening progression of Cm (chord VI) we go to Abmaj7 (IV), Fm7 (II), before we play a so-called minor II – V. That’s VII – IIIx in the keys of Cm/Eb.

All this means that we are diatonic to Cm in verse 1, apart from the chromatic descending notes over Cm.

Here’s some simple TAB for how you could play this with a singer, it’s very clear in order to make it easy for the singer to follow, once this is established, we can start stretching and varying the concept.

My Funny Valentine chords and TAB, simple verse 1 idea.

Do compare the first four bars with that of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, All In Love Is Fair, and Angel Eyes by the way they are both different but it’s in the same universe.

Verse 2 starts in the same way, although, and this is very important, the melody now starts on the 3rd, not the root. This is perhaps the greatest lesson we learn from My Funny Valentine – Doing this draws the listener in.

Anyway, back to the chords, that second line is now:

| Abmaj7 (IV) | Fm7 (II) | Abm6 (IVm) | Bb7b9 (V) |

The last two chords have changed, setting us up for the bridge. Abm6 is chord IVm, Bb7b9 is chord V. Although the b9 is outside of the key. Try an Abdim7 arpeggio over this chord if you solo!

members get TAb for how to play this second verse using a different approach to verse 1. Learn both ways and you can soon blend and develop the concepts.

The bridge is not in Cm anymore, it is in the relative major key of Eb. Compare this to how Summertime used both minor and major.

First, we go up the scale and then down again using chords I – II – III – II, like this:

||: Ebmaj7 (I) Fm7 (II) | Gm7 (III) Fm7 (II) :||

By having two chords per bar, rather than one in the verse, we automatically pick up the pace of the song. Pair this with moving to major and the change in feel is dramatic.

It’s important to realize that the reason it doesn’t feel strange or uncomfortable is that we haven’t changed the key, just moved to a different tonal centre, Cm and Eb share the same chords.

The final line of the bridge is I – IIIx7 – VI, or Ebmaj7G7Cm. This sets up the next verse, although there are a few more bars to complete it.

| Ebmaj7 (I) G7 (IIIx) | Cm (VI) Bbm7 (Vm) A7 (#IV) |
| Abmaj7 (IV) | Dm7b5 (VII) G7b9 (IIIx) |

The second half of bar two is a II – V of Ab, although the A7 is a tritone substitution. This brings us to Abmaj7 (IV). Finally, we have another minor II – V, or VII – IIIx. Dm7b5G7b9 takes us back to Cm for the final verse.

members get TAB for how to play the bridge in a way that will be easy to sing and solo over.

Verse 3 is similar to previous verses, but not the same. We start with Cm but then things change:

| Cm (VI) | Cmmaj7 | Cm7 | Cm6 |
| Abmaj7 (IV) | Dm7b5 (VII) G7b9 (IIIx) | Cm (VI) | Bbm7 (Vm) A7#11 (#IV) |
| Abmaj7 (IV) | Fm7 (II) Bb7b9 (V) | Eb6 (I) | Dm7b5 (VII) G7b9 (IIIx) |

Line 2 goes to the minor II – V, back to Cm, and then we get another II – V with a tritone substitution as we had in the bridge. Although here we also get a #11: Bbm7 A7#11.

The final line is IV – II – V – I. The Bb7b9 is not diatonic, but it works really well. Finish on an Eb6.

Should you want to solo, use a minor II – V (Dm7b5G7b9) to start over again from the top.

Again, members get TAb for how to play verse 3, we then really stretch the concept so you, once played through all three different variations, can start experimenting.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): My Funny Valentine – Guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method – You can learn guitar!


My Funny Valentine’s legacy as a jazz standard is immense!

Perhaps the jazz standard of all standards, My Funny Valentine has appeared on over 1300 albums, recorded by over 600 artists, not to mention the millions of jazz musicians that have played this legendary tune over the years.

600 artists are too many to list here so in the playlist above, I’ve included another six, apart from Chet Baker. They are Sting, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, and my favourite YouTube sax genius Chad LB.

If you want to really dig deep, and get better at jazz and therefore your instrument, you should work out how these artists change the melody of My Funny Valentine.

You should also look at how they’ve changed My Funny Valentine’s chord progression, even transcribe the solos.

But before you do that, start with learning how to play this classic using the chords and lyrics above. Maybe take it around the twelve keys, that should keep you busy for a couple of weeks!



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About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article on My Funny Valentine’s chords was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

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