Duke Robillard

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Ain't Nobody's Business


Duke Robillard Lesson >

Ain't Nobody's Business > Melody

Hello Folks,

This week we are working on the melody to Ain't Nobody's Business. Playing the melody to a tune written as a vocal is a special sort of thing. Sometimes playing the melody the way it would be sung is not interesting enough and you may need to embelish it a bit to make it interesting. Meaning you may need to add extra notes to make it flow as well as the words do. Some melodies are too plain when played instrumentally and need a few extra notes to add spark to the overall feeling. That's what a jazz player naturally does to make them his own or keep them interesting to the listener. So learn my way of playing the melody and then expound on it with your own interepretation. Its an essential part of learning to transform a vocal song into an instrumental interepretation.


Duke Robillard




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Duke Robillard
Jimmy Witherspoon
Ain't Nobody's Business

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 1:14 Review of Chords

Loop 2:57 Intro Breakdown

Loop 12:24 Run-Through of Melody


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 13:38 2nd Verse Melody Ideas

Loop 14:50 Chord Variations

Loop 18:10 Closing Thoughts






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Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Jun 29, 2017

Is it me - it appears the backing track intro isn't completing the turnaround as is in the lesson? 



Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 08, 2017

I'll check it and get right back to you.

charlie Sep 23, 2016

Lovely lesson Duke (as always). Big fan of this tune, so many great versions, from Bessie Smith to Jimmy Witherspoon, Otis Spann and Freddie King.

One question - the opening we play the 6 and 2 chords as major, but when we're into tune they're minor. I'm guessing decision which to play is personal taste/feel in moment. But that has to be restricted depending on how complex line up gets (say you had a bunch of horns, or several people taking turns on fills)?

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 08, 2017

Charlie, on these old time blues the 1,6,2,5 is comonly played that way with the intro outtro chords and sometimes ever the turnaround too. It a matter of taste but I feel it sounds best in this old style .music.

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