Happy Birthday - Jazz Piano Version

Hey everyone :wave:

A student asked me for a reharmonised version of Happy Birthday and I thought it would be fun to post it here in case it’s of interest to anyone else.

Here is my reharmonised chord chart:



Wonderful thanks! There’s always a birthday around the corner!

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Thanks @John_A - glad you like it!

I will add this video to one of the PianoGroove courses… perhaps our “chord substitution and reharmonisation” course would be the best fit.

Looking back over the video above, in the later demonstrations I play the C13 in bar 5 as a rootless voicing (at 5:28 for example) and after rewatching I feel that it sounds much better with a rooted shell voicing in the left hand (C and Bb) and then E-A-E in the right hand.

So in bar 5 we have: E-9 to C13 (rooted) to Gb13#11 and then to F69 in bar 6.

I like that much better. That’s what I play around 2:41 in the video.


Ok thank you. I’ll try both a try and see (wife’s birthdays next month!)

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Thanks for this. It sounds great!

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@Hayden Thanks for sharing this. Reharmonising non-jazz tunes is something I need help with. Is this something you can teach more of in the future?

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Hey @solomon23.st :wave:

I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Yes absolutely.

I will host a seminar next month on non-jazz tune reharmonisation and take requests for the songs to cover in the session. Do you have any songs in mind that you would like to reharmonise?

A couple of students have sent me similar requests for reharmonising pop songs, and also playing classic Motown songs but in a jazz style.

Let’s create a list of 5 or so songs/tunes to reharmonise in a seminar next month.


Here are a some suggestions:

Elvis Presley - can’t help falling in love

Maybe a kids tune like twinkle little star

Heart and soul which has a 1 6 2 5 progression