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Straight No Chaser

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“Straight No Chaser” is a 12-bar blues head written by Thelonius Monk. It was first recorded on Monk’s Blue Note Sessions in 1951. The song was originally written in Bb, but later it became popular in F as well due to Miles Davis’s famous recording on his hit record “Milestones”.
This blues head is a common jam session tune and important to be familiar with. The Straight No Chaser play along is in the key of F, as is the Straight No Chaser pdf chord chart, but it is important to be able to play it in Bb as well.

Videos to learn the melody/changes

Brent Vaartstra
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. I just loved the video by Joshua Redman and James Carter. These guys are hot. When they were trading lines it reminded me of The Chase. I have a version with Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray. It was one of the first solos I tried to transcribe and it proved to be far too difficult for me at the time. (40 years later I should have another crack at it.)
    Thanks for showing us this great video.
    Do you know anything about the band? Is it Redman’s big band, or Carter’s? Or is it a House band?
    If anyone can fill in the gaps I would appreciate it. This type of playing was the very thing that drew me to jazz all those years ago.
    Great Site.


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