Hello all

Just wondering the proper version of how to play the Count Basie piano ending.  It's heard at the end of a lot of big band pieces, you know the chromatic piano part where everyone comes out and the piano plays high up.  Please can someone spell it out or notate it for me.  I've figured out a basic version but it doesn't sound right!


by on 09/24/2011, 12:40

There are 10 replies, leave a reply.
  • There are a lot of ways to do the Count Basie ending.  The main idea is to get the F moving in half steps to G and the D moving in half steps to E.  I won't go over the rhythm, you can pick that up on any recording.

    The Count Basie ending I normally use has the right hand playing a C octave with an F in the middle, while the left hand plays a C and an A (a sixth) with the D added.  I leave the "outside" notes the same and move the D to D# and the F to F#, then I move the D# to E and the F# to G for the last hit.

    Play this version up so that your left hand little finger is playing the C that is one octave above middle C.

    Hope this helps!  I stole this version from Monty Alexander, probably from the Satin Doll tune on the live in Montreaux disc.

    If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

    by on 09/26/2011, 09:14 LJP Like
  • I've not seen that particular book, but fingering can be a very complicated and personal dilemma.  There are some do-s and don't-s like "keep your thumb on the white keys as much as possible", but things don't always work out that way.  If you're truly baffled, you should probably look for a good piano teacher for some help.
    by on 10/10/2011, 07:38 LJP Like
  • Thanks very much for this Scot, I tried this version tonight at a gig and it sounded great!
    by on 09/29/2011, 16:00 LJP Like
  • Have you learned the traditional major and minor scale fingerings?  If not, it would be well worth your while to learn those
    by on 10/10/2011, 07:39 LJP Like
  • An even simpler way to play this ending in the right hand only is:

    FC - F#C - GC (both notes played together, high up the keyboard)


    FC - EbC - EC (ie: encircling the 3rd of the C chord, E)

    Putting these together gives these chords, all played with C as the top note:

    Dm7 - Ebdim7 - C/E

    One thing I've come to realise about this ending is that it fits rhythmically with the 'Take the A Train' ending - so if you're playing with a guitarist one of you can do Count Basie, the other Duke Ellington- and it'll sound great!
    by on 09/29/2011, 16:58 LJP Like
  • I will second what the Dr. said, learn your scales.

    You can download scales and fingerings for them all over the web, there  might even be something on this site (I guess there should be a beginner's area, huh?).  Once you get your scale fingerings down (major and hopefully minor scales) fingering the exercises you're talking about will be much, much easier.  Almost automatic, in fact.

    Learning jazz consists of two things:  knowing the science behind it (chords, fingerings, key signatures, what goes with what) and being able to use that science to make art or at least good jamming music.

    So as you practice jamming and having fun and making music, be sure to put in 40% time learning those scales.  

    Just had a thought- I bet there are your tube videos of how to play scales, check those out as well specially if you're a visual learner.

    If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

    by on 10/10/2011, 10:58 LJP Like
  • Dr- I figured that thing out about the A-Train ending and Count Basie ending- in fact, sometimes I'll do the a-train ending in the left hand while doing the basie ending in the right hand.  Lewis Carrol would be pleased, in a musical sense.  He once wrote:

    For instance, take the two words "fuming" and "furious." Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards "fuming," you will say "fuming-furious;" if they turn, by even a hair's breadth, towards "furious," you will say "furious-fuming;" but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say "frumious."  

    If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

    by on 09/29/2011, 18:41 LJP Like
  • Thanks for the responses!
    by on 10/10/2011, 12:11 LJP Like
  • Nice quote, Scot!!!
    by on 10/04/2011, 16:39 LJP Like
  • I actually know the major & minor fingerings. I am having trouble figuring out the fingerings for something like going up and down a: Root, 3rd, 5th (triad) or 7th Chord (Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th), or 9th Chord (Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th)?
    by on 10/10/2011, 12:26 LJP Like
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