Classical Guitar Instruction with Douglas Niedt
Douglas Niedt Presents

PLAY IT LIKE A PRO™

TAKE FIVE

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.

Take Five by Paul Desmond arranged for classical guitar by Douglas Niedt

What are those Take Five chords and what is that opening Take Five rhythm?

The original printed music for sax and piano gives this rhythm for the opening measures:

After listening to recordings of Desmond with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, I chose to notate all the rhythms in a gentle triplet swing rather than the more angular dotted rhythm given in the original. I believe their playing is actually closer to this triplet feel than the dotted feel:

In the transfer to the guitar I also chose to make the bass notes longer than notated for the piano. If the original note lengths and articulations as played by the piano are played on the guitar, the texture sounds sparse. On the guitar, the longer note values in the bass add fullness without sacrificing clarity.

In measure five, the original music notates Desmond's melody line in even 8th notes.

In recordings I listened to, I heard the melody continue in a distinct swing which again, I notate in triplet rhythms:

Take me back to Doug's Take Five webpage.