Tunes for Developing Melodic Expression

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When we improvise, we are improvising a melody. If we want our improvised melodies to be expressive, then we need to work on melodic expression. One of the best ways to do that is to be able to play standards expressively.

I've compiled a list of tunes that have interesting melodies, and arranged them more or less in order of increasing difficulty (ME1 being easiest, ME9 being hardest). Of course, difficulty is subjective. You may wonder why some tunes that are easy to execute have a high number. That's because, though they are easy to play, they are hard to play expressively.

1 ME1 Afternoon In Paris
2 ME1 Bessie's Blues
3 ME1 Black Orpheus
4 ME1 Blue Bossa
5 ME1 Blue Illusion
6 ME1 Blue Trane
7 ME1 Comin' Home Baby
8 ME1 Gentle Rain
9 ME1 Here's That Rainy Day
10 ME1 Sometime Ago
11 ME1 Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
12 ME1 Worksong
13 ME2 A Child Is Born
14 ME2 All In Love Is Fair
15 ME2 Blue In Green
16 ME2 Blues Ala Mode
17 ME2 Can You Read My Mind?
18 ME2 Chronic Blues
19 ME2 Darn That Dream
20 ME2 Dindi
21 ME2 Easy Living
22 ME2 Forest Flower
23 ME2 God Bless the Child
24 ME2 I Thought About You
25 ME2 I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
26 ME2 If You Never Come To Me
27 ME2 In Your Own Sweet Way
28 ME2 Jordu
29 ME2 Just Friends
30 ME2 Like Someone in Love
31 ME2 Milano
32 ME2 My One and Only Love
33 ME2 Peace
34 ME2 Someday My Prince Will Come
35 ME2 There Will Never Be Another You
36 ME2 West Coast Blues
37 ME2 Willow Weep For Me
38 ME2 You Are Too Beautiful
39 ME3 Boplicity
40 ME3 Dolphin Dance
41 ME3 Doodlin'
42 ME3 Falling Grace
43 ME3 Midnight Sun
44 ME3 My Foolish Heart
45 ME3 Scrapple From The Apple
46 ME3 Swedish Pastry
47 ME3 Triste
48 ME4 A Night In Tunisia
49 ME4 Anthropology
50 ME4 Blues For Alice
51 ME4 Bright Size Life
52 ME4 Dexterity
53 ME4 I Remember Clifford
54 ME4 Sweet Rain
55 ME4 Turn Out The Stars
56 ME4 Whisper Not
57 ME5 April Joy
58 ME5 James
59 ME6 Ceora
60 ME6 Upper Manhattan Medical Group
61 ME7 Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)
62 ME7 Confirmation
63 ME7 Joy Spring
64 ME7 Round Midnight
65 ME8 Body And Soul
66 ME8 Bones From Jones
67 ME8 Lush Life
68 ME8 Peggy's Blue Skylight
69 ME9 Donna Lee

Last Updated on 6/29/2003
By Steve Carter