One of the main goals of this site is to consistently teach you how to improvise jazz on a higher level.
(Summertime backing track, chord chart, and extra tips below. :))
In order to best learn this language of jazz improvisation though we need to apply our licks and chords to songs and real pieces of music!
So, to help you practice your jazz improvisation I created a free backing track for the famous jazz standard Summertime.
I even included a lead sheet/chort chart so you can play the melody and the chords too!
Now I love playing solo jazz piano as much as anybody but there is just something really fun about playing with with a rhythm section accompaniment (either live or a backing track).
Having bass and drums behind us can free us up creatively and even rhythmically. Plus, it just feels good too!
Summertime Chord Chart
Here’s the chord chart and lead sheet to Summertime.It’s in the Key of D minor. You can download a pdf or click on the chart to open it in a new window. (Play Along tracks below.)
Feel free to share this chart. The only thing I ask is that you credit freejazzlessons.com or provide a link back to the site.
The Herbie Hancock licks and chords, the Diana Krall licks and chords, and the Chick Corea licks and chords you learn my Jazz Masters Method DVD will work great over this jam track as well.
Summertime Jazz Backing Track
Here’s the jam tracks for Summertime. It features a swinging drum and bass accompaniment. There are actually 2 different version with 2 different tempos.
One of them is a nice and easy 100 beats per minute and the other one is 120 beats per minute. You can start out with the slower tempo and work your way up to the fast tempo if you like.
The jam track at 100bpm
The jam track at 120bpm
So, turn your speakers up, grab your axe, and start practicing with the play along below. Enjoy!
If you prefer to jam on Youtube here’s a Youtube video jam track I just made of Summertime too
Additional Jazz Arranging Tip For Jazz Beginners
Here’s a couple suggestions for form and arrangements when playing jazz tunes. You can apply these below or do your own arrangement on Summertime.
- Usually when you play a jazz tune the head or melody of the song is played first.
- Then you improvise over the chord changes and the form of the song many times over.
- One time through the form of the song is called a chorus.
- Once you’re done jamming on the tune and finish a chorus you play the melody of the tune again.
- Often times after that there will be some sort of small outro and then the song is done!
- Take a listen to how these masters play the form in this list of jazz standards to learn.
Did you enjoy this backing track? Please leave a comment below. Feel free to come back as often as you like to practice Summertime too!
If you’re new here remember to also subscribe to the freejazzlessons.com email list.
- You’ll receive free lessons right in your inbox regularly.
- You’ll also be joining one the fastest growing jazz education communities on the internet.
- You can subscribe right below this article or on the top left of the site.