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In a Mellow Tone

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In a Mellow Tone is a very common standard by Duke Ellington. Musicians of all levels like to play this tune, but I find that it is really a good tune for budding jazz musicians to learn because it has some nice changes that aren’t too hard, but are still a challenge because they aren’t exclusively diatonic. It’s a great tune to help students learn to play changes.

A nice easy tip when learning to navigate the changes to hit the thirds when you are constructing lines. The 3rds and 7ths really highlight the harmony, and I find that highlighting the 3rds is an easy way to for budding jazz musicians to sound like they are really in the changes.

Videos to learn the melody/changes

Camden Hughes
Camden Hughes
Camden is a working jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator currently living near Boise, ID. He teaches music at the Idaho Arts Charter School, and is the jazz adjunct professor at Northwest Nazarene University. Check out his music at


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Chord Charts

C Instruments Bb Instruments Eb Instruments

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