Transcription: Blues In Frankie's Flat

Composer: Frank Foster
Transcription starts at 3'10"; ends at 4'10"
From the album: Count Basie Live 1958 and 1959
Leader of the session: Count Basie
Recording date: November 15, 1959
CD: Status DSTS 1037
Tempo: 128 beats per minute

"Blues In Frankie's Flat" is a twelve bar blues. There are many Basie recordings of this tune and Freddie Green's guitar is usually audible during this part of the arrangement. In this recording, bars 11 and 12 have Freddie playing a downward glissando on the 4th string, from Db to Ab three times, followed by a downward glissando from Bb to Gb. Rarely does Freddie exhibit such flamboyance!

Freddie's genius for rhythm guitar is clearly illustrated in this transcribed excerpt. Note how he uses only a few voicings, but creates variation by 1) altering how many notes are sounded in the voicing, by 2) gliding into the voicing from above or below, by 3) changing the length of the quarter note pulse.

The chord diagrams illustrate probable voicing forms used by Freddie Green based on extensive research conducted by the primary contributors to this web site. As there is no video record of this recording session, Freddie's exact fingerings will never be known. Note that Freddie often used his left thumb to mute or partially depress the 6th string.

  • An "x" indicates that a finger is placed on the string, but the string is not fully pushed down to make contact with the fret.

  • A "black dot" or "white dot" indicates that a finger is placed on the string, and the string is pushed down to make contact with the fret. A white dot also indicates that the note is added to the voicing played on the previous beat. Adding an upper note on beat 2 or 4 is a typical Freddie Green technique.

  • If there is no "x", "black dot", or "white dot", the string is fully damped by a finger of the left hand.

For instruction on how to play one note and two note voicings, see our techniques section.

Transcribed by Michael Pettersen
May 2005

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