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Milestones (Original)

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“Milestones” is a tune written by John Lewis. It was written for Miles Davis while he was playing in Charlie Parker’s band. This tune is NOT to be confused with the 1958 modal tune “Milestones” which was indeed written by Miles Davis. In fact they do not share musical similarities. Sometimes the original Milestones is credited as Miles Davis’s composition however this is incorrect.
This is a great bebop tune and has some fun changes to play on!
One mistake that some people make when learning this tune is to leave out the intro and dismiss it as simply part of an arrangement. The intro is part of the composition and must be played!
Be sure to check out the recording of Charlie Parker’s band playing this tune.

Videos to learn the melody/changes

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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. The tune is in Bb, but the key center shifts often. And the bridge goes to A, then G. And the intro starts in F and then goes to Ab.


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