A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“My Way” is a pop ballad most strongly associated with the singer Frank Sinatra, who recorded his iconic rendition in 1969. What most listeners don’t realize, however, is that it was originally a French song composed two years earlier by Claude Francois, Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibaut. The American lyricist Paul Anka later wrote the lyrics that fit Sinatra’s style and persona so well.

You won’t hear “My Way” at many jazz jam sessions, but it’s a good tune to memorize because a lot of male vocalists like to perform it and you’ll want to be prepared for gigs where you’re asked to accompany singers. After all, good accompanists are always in demand!

Recommended videos/recordings:
(for international readers who may not have access to these YouTube links, I’ve indicated the original album names wherever possible so you can listen to them on music streaming services, etc.)

Frank Sinatra

Shirley Bassey – 1987 Live In Berlin (video)

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
Since “My Way” is more of a pop ballad than a jazz tune, don’t try to be too “jazzy” with it, unless you’re trying to do something unique with it. Just play it the way you would play “Let It Be” or another tune with straight quarters and 8ths and the vocalist will love you. You can build up the intensity and be more orchestral towards the end if you like.

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”

Further links and resources:
The Best Way To Use The Real Book

My Way: The Story Behind The Song

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