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"The Jazz Standards Playbook Vol. 2"

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Bluesette was written by harmonica player Toots Thielemans. It became an international hit in the 1960’s and was original recorded with him whistling the melody along with a guitarist. This is a great 3/4 tune to add to your repertoire.

Want some great jazz improv exercises to practice over this jazz standard? Check out 2 Jazz Improvisation Exercises Over Bluesette.

Videos to learn the melody/changes

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Hi, Brent – I’m 72, been playing the Hammond B3 for 59 years. I know a bit about the recording presented here; it was actually done in 1962 but not released until ’64. In addition, it was indeed “recorded with him whistling the melody along with a guitarist” but the guitarist in this case was himself – he was doubling his guitar lines with whistling, something he was known for. (Try it – it’s hard as hell, much harder than singing scat along with your lines – in fact, it’s so hard it’s frustrating, since you have to have great whistling chops, and almost no-one does.) Anyway, I just thought I’d set the record straight: Toots was both the guitarist and the whistler on the cut, and it was a single-pass real-time recording – no double-tracking, punching in or other tricks. Toots did it live.


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