Giant Steps

A bebop jazz standard written by John Coltrane in 1959. It's characterized by an uncommon, complex and rapidly changing chord progression, with the tone center constantly shifting between B, G, and Eb. making improvising over it a real challenge.


  
 #----------------------------------PLEASE NOTE---------------------------------# 
 #This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the # 
 #song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research. # 
 #------------------------------------------------------------------------------## 
 From: parker_b%aplvax.span AT Fedex.Msfc.Nasa.Gov 
  
 Here's a chord-melody arrangement of the head to ``Giant Steps'' 
 by John Coltrane. Most of the [[chord voicing|chord voicings]] have been opened to 
 mostly fourth, tritone, and fifth intervals (so-called ``quartal 
 harmony''), giving a very nice ambiguous sound. These voicings are 
 easy to finger on the guitar and sound good.  I give the chord names 
 in two forms: a name for a simple ``closed'' voicing, (top) and a name 
 for the more open or extended voicing (bottom). 
  
 Giant Steps by John Coltrane 
 harm. by Bo Parker (parker_b%aplvax.span@fedex.msfc.nasa.gov) 
  
    Bmaj7 D7   Gmaj7 Bb7  Ebmaj7  Am7  D7 
    B6/9  D6/9 Gmaj7 Bb13 Eb6/9   Am9  D6/9 
  
 E--14---10----7----------6-------7----5---| 
 B--14---10----7-----8----6-------5----5---| 
 G--13----9----7-----7----5-------5----4---| 
 D--13----9----5-----6----5-------5----4---| 
 A-----------------------------------------| 
 E-----------------------------------------| 
  
  
    Gmaj7 Bb7   Ebmaj7 F#7  Bmaj7  Fm7  Bb7 
    G6/9  Bb6/9 Ebmaj7 F#13 B6/9   Fm9  Bb9 
  
 E--10----6-----3-----------2------3----1--| 
 B--10----6-----3------4----2------1----1--| 
 G---9----5-----3------3----1------1----1--| 
 D---9----5-----1------2----1------1----0--| 
 A-----------------------------------------| 
 E-----------------------------------------| 
  
  
    Ebmaj7 Am7 D7   Gmaj7 C#m7 F#7   Bmaj7 
    Eb6/9  Am9 D6/9 G6/9  C#m9 F#9   B6/9 
  
 E--6------7---5----10----11---9-----14---| 
 B--6------5---5----10-----9---9-----14---| 
 G--5------5---4-----9-----9---9-----13---| 
 D--5------5---4-----9-----9---8-----13---| 
 A----------------------------------------| 
 E----------------------------------------| 
  
  
    Fm7  Bb7    Ebmaj7 C#m7  F#7 
    Fm9  Bb13b9 Eb6/9  C#m11 F#13    repeat from beginning 
  
 E--15---15-----18-----14----14---| 
 B--13---12-----18-----16----16---| 
 G--13---13-----17-----16----15---| 
 D--13---12-----17-----14----14---| 
 A--------------------------------| 
 E--------------------------------| 
  
  
 To tie in with the discussion of picking technique, I pick these as 
 block chords using either all four fingers or the first three fingers 
 (no thumb, no arpeggiation). When I pick stuff like this, I do not 
 anchor my right hand at all, and I play over the sound hole. I can't 
 really solo over these changes(!), but it's fun just to play the head. 
  
 Enjoy 
 From: tgannon AT charlie.usd.edu (spideir) 
  
  GIANT STEPS (John Coltrane): melody chords to "Head" chorus 
  
    --guitar arrangement: tcg, 1987 
    --4/4 // BM // Allegro (pretty quick) 
    --head so "jagged" and wide in its range, melody at times had to be 
        transposed up/down an octave. . . . 
    --fingerstyle or pick-&-3-fingers easiest; plectrum strums'll work 
        if yu' deaden "x" strings with sides of adjacent fingers. . . . 
    --note durations: 
        /        quarter note 
        /-       eighth note        /-.        dotted eighth 
        /=       sixteenth note 
        /_/_/_/  tied notes 
                              [hey, _I_ understand it!--I think. . . .] 
  
  
      BM7       D7        GM7      Bb[7/]6   Eb[M7]     Am9       D9 
     x_x___    x____x    _x__xx    x__oxx    _x__xx    xx____    xx____ 
   2 |o|||o  3 ||||o|  3 o|||||  1 |o||||  1 ||o|||  5 ||ooo|  4 ||o||| 
     |||o||    ||o|||    ||oo||    ||||||    ||||||    ||||||    |||ooo 
     ||||o|    |o|o||    ||||||    ||o|||    o||o||    |||||o    |||||| 
       /         /         /         /-.     /=_/_/      /         / 
  
  
      GM7      Bb7/6      EbM7     F#7/6      BM7       Fm9       Bb7 
     x_x___    xx____    x____x    x____x    x_x___    x____x    x____x 
  10 |o|||o  6 ||o||o  6 |o||||  2 ||o|||  2 |o|||o  6 ||o|||  6 ||o|o| 
     |||o||    |||o||    |||o||    |||o||    |||o||    ||||||    |||o|| 
     ||||o|    ||||o|    ||o|o|    |o||o|    ||||o|    |o|oo|    |o|||| 
       /         /         /         /-.     /=_/_/      /         /-. 
  
  
      EbM7      Am9       D9        GM7       C#m9     F#7/6 
     x_x___    xx____    xx____    x_x___    x____x    x____x 
   6 |o|||o  5 ||ooo|  4 ||o||| 10 |o|||o  2 ||o|||  2 ||o||| 
     |||o||    ||||||    |||ooo    |||o||    ||||||    |||o|| 
     ||||o|    |||||o    ||||||    ||||o|    |o|oo|    |o||o| 
     /=_/_/      /         /-.     /=_/_/      /         /-. 
  
      BM7       Fm9      Bb7/6      EbM7     F#7/6 
     x_x___    x____x    xx____    x_x___    x____x 
   2 |o|||o  6 ||o|||  6 ||o|||  6 |o|||o  2 ||o||o 
     |||o||    ||||||    |||o||    |||o||    |||o||    D.C. 
     ||||o|    |o|oo|    |o||o|    ||||o|    ||||o| 
     /=_/_/      /         /-.     /=_/_/     / / 
  
   *===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===* 
   | Thomas C. Gannon | tgannon AT charlie.usd.edu | U of SoDak (Vermillion)  | 
   * ------------------------------- _-^-_ ------------------------------- * 
   | "--If I decide to practice a   / o )=\    slight movement from right  | 
   *  to left . . . or from left   {   /===}    to right . . . it's        * 
   |     nobody's business but my   \ (=o=/    own." (_A_Day_for_Eeyore_)  | 
   *===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===* ^-_=^ *===*===*===*===*===*===*===*===* 

Video

Dan Cohen's transcription movie of Coltranes Giant Steps

This is what John Coltrane's landmark tune and solo look like when they come to life on paper. Apologies to all the saxophonists out there who are annoyed to find that this is a transcription for piano. (more)

The Giant Steps animation by Michal Levy