Don’t Wait Too Long

Don’t Wait Too Long

Chords and strumming

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Don’t Wait Too Long chords and strumming


In 2004, Madeleine Peyroux launched herself as a contemporary answer to Billie Holiday. She strummed chord progressions like I – VI – II – V in a jazz style and added some interesting extensions and slash chords.

‘Don’t Wait Too Long’ is played in a style that people may refer to as “jazz standard” territory. As an introduction to that world, this is definitely a simple enough song to get you started.

In the advanced guitar course, we improvise over this song after we have learned exactly what’s going on in the video lesson.

Soloing over a Jazz/Blues

When you solo in this style it is essential to swap mode and arpeggio for every chord.

To do this, you must think in chord numbers and modal scales.

This means you play Phrygian Dominant for chord IIIx and Aeolian for chord VIm7 , for example.

The bridge section uses the cycle of 4th moving: IIIx – VIm7 – IIx – V7sus4 – I. This is perfect to practise modal scales over.

If you don’t know all of your pentatonic scales, arpeggios and modes in each shape, you will never be able to relax enough to play a jazz solo with a smile on your face.

When you do know, jazz is easy, you play around with melodies like a footballer plays around with his ball.

Playing in a swing style

Similarly to ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home‘, ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’ uses jazz comping based on consistent downward strumming on the beat.

Against this straight beat, you apply back strums to indicate how much you’re swinging.

A good trick is to apply the off beats more frequently, in between vocal lines.

Once you get the feel of the swing i.e. how far you stretch the ‘up’ strum from the ‘on the beat’ strum’, start looking at variations of when to put this in.

Take the advanced course and everything in the video is explained using TAB. You’ll also learn how to improvise using the technique of new chord = new scale or arpeggio.

Related Pages

Don’t Wait Too Long – Lyrics

Don't Wait Too LongYou can cry a million tears
You can wait a million years
If you think that time will change your ways
Don’t wait too long
When your morning turns to night

For complete lyrics, go to Don’t Wait Too Long lyrics.

Madeleine Peyroux – Biography

madeleine-peuyroux-thumbMadeleine Peyroux is an American jazz singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Often compared to Billie Holiday for her vocal similarities, Peyroux’s second solo album only had one original tune on it, ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’.

Released in 2004, the album ‘Careless Love’ sounds as if it was written eighty years ago.

To find out more, go to Madeleine Peyroux biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

To see all lessons in the advanced course, go to Advanced Guitar Course


These are pretty advanced exercises. You’ll be playing 7th note chords, arpeggios and modes all over the neck.

But don’t fret – As you’ve already mapped out the fretboard with pentatonic scales and barre chords, extending the concept is actually really simple.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Advanced Guitar Lessons


Learn how to play famous advanced songs.

‘Angels’, ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Cannonball’, ‘Close To You’, ‘Creepin’ In’, ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’, ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘Over The Rainbow’, ‘Roxanne’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, ‘Take Me To The River’, ‘Tears In Heaven’, and ‘Wish You Were Here’.

To preview each song, go to Advanced Acoustic Songs

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