“Giant Steps” is a tune written by the legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane for his ground-breaking 1960 record “Giant Steps”. This tune highlights a Coltrane innovation that jazz musicians call “Coltrane Changes”. It focuses on three tonal centers: B Major, G Major and Eb Major.
This tune has become very famous in the jazz world and is known as one of the more difficult tunes to improvise on. It is best to ignore the key signatures on the charts provided because as I said there in not just one key center. This tune is often called at a fast tempo, however we have provided you with a play-along as a medium bossa and a fast swing. The tune can still be played at slower tempos, and there is a famous Pat Metheny recording from his Trio 99->00 album which he plays Giant Steps at a medium tempo (very hip…it doesn’t always seem slow, however, because he has so many double time licks!).
Slower tempos are great for practicing Giant Steps. However, you should also be able to play Giant Steps at faster tempos, and then you can make an artistic decision to play it slower if you’d like.
As always, it is suggested you also practice with just your instrument and your metronome on beats two and four.