Solar: Jazz guitar lead sheet, with CHORDS and TABS


by Miles Davis – Jazz Guitar Lead Sheet, Fingerings (TABS) + Chord Diagrams

Solar is one of the tune that is the most “called” (and played) at jazz jam sessions. Written in 1954 and recorded on the album “Walkin”, this piece should certainly be amongst the first 20 tunes jazz guitarists should learn…

Don’t let its simple (12-bar) form fool you : there’s a reason why people still play and record that tune a lot! The first 4-5 bars are reminiscent of a blues in Cm (with a tonic minor chord) … but then bar five of Solar “lightens” up everything with an F major (instead of the usual IV minor chord, found in minor blues usually). Then of course, not only does it goes to F major, but it waves in and out of Eb major and Db major … Simply speaking, the whole tune is C minor, F major, Eb major, Db major (with II-V’s in front of every new major key). Notice how the three major keys are DESCENDING and a whole step apart.

Solar (Lead Sheet, Jazz Guitar Fingerings and TWO basic chord sheets)

I believe 21st century jazzmen still play that tune because it offers many opportunities for “stretching” (yeah, that’s one big thingy there!), because it can be played “cooking” (fast) or med. swing for beginners, and also because the familiarity with the 12-bar blues makes the form of Solar FEEL very comfortable…

… and finally because Miles wrote such a simple and effective melody!

Please find the Podcast #8 on for a complete harmonic analysis and some ideas on blowing this tune.


Here’s the PDF …

Solar for Jazz Guitar: with TABS

Solar (Lead Sheet, Jazz Guitar Fingerings and TWO basic chord sheets)

THE PDF: No chord melody this time, sorry. This file has TWO nice fingerings for jazz guitarists (one low and one up the octave). The last page contains two choruses of suggested basics chords to be played in comping. This comes in really handy if you want to play this tune at a jam!

Suggested listening

First, you need the original recording! (the album Walkin by Miles Davis in 1954) Then I suggest (in no particular order) : Bill Evans, Pat Metheny, Brad Meldhau, etc.

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