Douglas Niedt Presents



This is Douglas Niedt's outstanding arrangement of the great jazz standard by Paul Desmond, made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. This fingerstyle arrangement can be played on a nylon-string classical guitar, acoustic, or steel-string electric guitar. For intermediate to advanced players.

My goals for this arrangement of Take Five were:

  1. To maintain the repeated chord progression of the piano part throughout each verse and improvisation section, while keeping the feel of the Take 5 melody as performed by composer/sax player Paul Desmond. In other guitar arrangements, the 5/4 accompaniment is incomplete or drops out intermittently, which ruins the song.

  2. To maintain the independent rhythm of the bass line from the sax solo in the chorus.

  3. To include an “improvisation” section. Of course a written out improvisation is not an improvisation! But because of the difficulty of improvising on top of an accompaniment on fingerstyle guitar, I have written out this “improvisation” based upon actual improvisations by Paul Desmond.

While the goals were straightforward, the execution of Take Five is far from easy. That is why I have provided the high-def videos to help you learn to play Take Five correctly and accurately. Watching them will save you hours of frustration and wasted time.

Take me back to Doug's Take Five webpage.