Misty (Erroll Garner) analysis - Arrangement with chords & melody - Jazz guitar lesson

Misty is a jazz standard written by Erroll Garner following a 32-bar progression in the key of Eb including some common chord sequences as II-V-I, I-VI-II-V. A very popular ballad that has crossed over genres of music for the past 50 years (1959). This post in analysis of this song reffering to the realbook including a youtube video lesson about a chord melody arrangement for jazz guitar. 

Quick analysis of Misty (real book)

There are two sections. Here is the chord progression and a quick analysis reffering to the real book :

Section A 

Ebmaj7 | Bb-7 Eb7 | Abmaj7 | Ab-7 Db7 | 

Ebmaj7 C-7 | F-7 Bb7 || 1st ending G-7 C7 | F-7 Bb7 :|| 2nd ending Eb6 | % |

  • Pick up measure: Bb13 = V of home key (Eb major).
  • Bar 1: Ebmaj7 (Tonic Eb).
  • Bars 2 & 3 : Bb-7 Eb7 | Abmaj7 | This is a II-V-I in the key of AbMaj7.
  • Bar 4 : Ab-7 Db7 . This is a II-V in the key of Gb but the resolution doesn't go to Gb as it theoretically should.
  • Bars 5 & 6 : Ebmaj7 C-7 | F-7 Bb7 is a I VI II V sequence in the key of Eb.
  • Bars 7 & 8 (first ending) : G-7 C7 | F-7 Bb7 . This is a III-VI7-II-V7 sequence in the key of Eb. 
  • Bars 9 to 14 : Same as bars 1 to 6.
  • Bar 15 & 16 (second ending) : Eb6.Home key

Section B (Ab Major New Tonality, Eb modulating to Ab)

Bb-7 | Eb7 | Abmaj7 | % | 

A-7 | D7 F7 | G-7b5 C7b9 | F-7 Bb7

  • Bars 17,18,19 & 20 : Bb-7 | Eb7 | Abmaj7 | % | II V I sequence in the key of Ab.
  • Bars 21 & 22 : A-7 | D7 F7 | ....Am7 is the bii of Ab. You can consider it as a II-V sequence in the key of G that goes to the V7 of Ab.
  • Bar 23 : G-7b5 C7b9  ...minor II-V in the key of Fmin.
  • Bar 24 : F-7 Bb7... major II-V of original tonic key (Eb).

Bars 25 to 32 : same as the second part of the A section.

Misty - jazz standard - erroll garner

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Comments (2)

jazz-guitar-licks
  • 1. jazz-guitar-licks (link) | 13/03/2017

Welcome Bud !

Bud Hivner
  • 2. Bud Hivner | 12/03/2017

I just found your web site !! Hooray ! I am an 80 yr old swing guitar player that plays in a local New Horizons Swing Band and a local jazz trio plus (sometimes
others sit-in), I am always looking to learn something new or something I have forgot about about over the years. I should say the tunes are mostly straight ahead jazz that our trio plays and the New Horizons play 16 piece tunes.

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