Duke Robillard

Lesson >

In A Mellow Tone

Chords and Rhythm

Duke Robillard Lesson >

In A Mellow Tone > Chords and Rhythm

Hello Folks,

This week we start on a great Duke Ellington classic, "In a Mellowtone." This tune has and A and B section of 16 measures each and is a really fun progression to play on. In The key of Ab it begins with a chord introduction that alternates with bass lines. Then it on the melody it starts on Bb7. It has many dominant 7th chords where you might expect minor 7th chords. It's one of my favorite songs to play and I think you'll have a ball playing it. This week, as always, the first lesson is learning the chord progression.






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of In A Mellow Tone

Loop 1:22 Breakdown of In A Mellow Tone Chords and Rhythm

Loop 15:30 Practice Loop of Chords and Rhythm


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 22:01 How Duke Solos and Closing Thoughts





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Slim Sep 02, 2017


     Love the Jazz/Blues lately.  Speaking of Ellington, perhaps sometime in the future you could tackle "Just a Settin' and a Rockin"?  I love the solo version Kenny Burrell does-seem like it's right in your wheelhouse.


Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Sep 01, 2017

I'll get more comfortable with the solo section with more practice. 


Tom K.
Tom K. Aug 30, 2017

Nice chords . Thanks Duke .

normen Aug 30, 2017

Hey Duke,

Your Guitar looks super cool! 

What model is this?


Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Aug 26, 2017

Hey Duke! You picked one of my 100 or so favorite Duke Ellington tunes! ;-) That intro is very cool. Looking forward very much to the next lessons. I would love to hear any thoughts you have on this. Take care, Bruce.

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Aug 29, 2017

Hey Bruce, I must be one of your faves, you started your solo with a quote from the original recording! Good work! Duke 

charlie Aug 26, 2017

Thanks Duke! Love this - thanks for opening another door for me. Ellington is the heavyweight champ!


PS really cool guitar

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Aug 29, 2017

Thanks Charlie, Glad you like it. Duke 

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