Angel Eyes

Learn how to play Angel Eyes on one acoustic guitar!

‘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 AmAm/GAm/FAm/EAm/Eb.

This creates a very sad background, 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 master course.


Moving a 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 lesson. The bass line really shines this way but staying down there for the whole song may become a bit boring.

The second time the verse appears, we play around fret five instead using an Am chord in an Em shape but still applying the descending 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 melody as well as improvise over it.

When you take the master 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.

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