my last giant steps discovery had to do with moving down in whole steps alternating m7 with m7, starting on the bm7, the first chord of the tune.  this works and sounds good in the a section.  i did not quite see the extent of this pattern until recently.

start at the top of the tune.

in the right hand play the melody notes.

in the left hand starting on the bm7 chord, alternate m7 and m7 in a whole tone descending scale, one chord per half note.  such as, bm7 - am7 - gm7 - fm7 etc...

do not stop the scale regardless of melody or chords in the chart, keep on going every half note.

the interesting thing is that as you progress through the tune you'll that your whole tone scale experiment sound good with the melody of giant steps (because of tri-tone, half step, and other reharmonization) and not only that, the chords/melody of what you're playing will match up exactly in numerous places in the giant steps chart.

my conclusion is that coltrane got enamored with the whole tone scale and figured this thing out based on one repeating whole tone scale with alternating m7 and m7 chords, reharmonizing in standard ways to give it the illusion of different chord groups, but in the end, it's a simple formula.
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There are 5 comments, leave a comment.
here's another take on analyzing 'giant steps': />
i've just started transcribing john coltrane's solo on giant steps, and i was surprised by how simple his lines are (so far). i haven't gotten far yet, but right now i'm seeing mostly arpeggios and scales. his first 8-10 bars are all arpeggios and scale runs.
i've just finished almost a third of his solo, and it took me less than half the time it normally would for me to transcribe something because his lines are so simple and sequential.
yes rywls you are om the right track.  it is really an easy tune afterall ...
nothing but a series of ii v i's thrown together.  and train solo's on them in a very inside way.
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