'THAT'S LIFE' (Request)

Could I ask please Hayden if you or any of the teachers at Pianogroove like ,or could work with, this tune ,could a lesson, even an impov-only lesson, be considered for it in the future please. Thank you.

That’s Life (Sinatra version)

If i might, i will piggy back on @niall 's request.
In preparation for @Tuomo 's upcoming seminar on Alfie, i am working on the tune. I am, for the first time, trying to create an arrangement by figuring out voicings for the lead sheet Tuomo posted that sound ok and have decent voice leading. This, as everyone who has already passed through this stage will know, is quite a different experience than learning one of @Hayden 's wonderful arrangements. I feel that i am stumbling around in the dark a bit, not really knowing if i am making good decisions. Would it be possible at some point to have a live seminar, @Hayden , where you start from scratch creating an arrangement on a tune you havent played before (if such a thing exists), or on one you havent played for a long time, perhaps ‘That’s Life.’ It would be very useful to see your process in trying out various things to see what works and what doesn’t, particularly if you could approach this process, in part atleast, from a beginners perspective.
Appologies, @niall , if i have hijacked your request.


Thanks James ,& no, you didn’t hijack my request at all. Delighted at you’re input & that there’s someone else out there with an interest in that cool tune. Much absent from the Jazz piano ‘standards’ repertoire (or is it a Jazz Blues ?)Great key change ,ending chords in it also. Would love to hear Hayden’s take on it, thanks again James.

Hey @niall and @james18 :wave:

Firstly yes we will cover the tune “Alfie” (which I haven’t arranged before) in my seminar on Wednesday, here’s the link:

We’ll spend the first half of the seminar working on what I was planning to cover, and the second half we will arrange “Alfie” from the ground up.

Yes we will do exactly that. Great idea!

Thanks for sharing this Niall.

It’s certainly a tune I can cover in a seminar, perhaps an upcoming blues-focused seminar.

For solo piano I would arrange this in a slow-stride style, similar to my course on “Georgia On My Mind”.

The harmony of “That’s Life” is very diatonic (repeating 3625 progression through the form) and so all of the principles and exercises that I cover in the improvisation modules of my below courses would be a good place to start:

  • Cocktail Piano Improvisation Course - targeting 3rds and 7ths, reshaping the melody, arpeggios, alterations, chromatic lines, blues scales etc…

  • Ballad Fills, Runs, & Improv Course - perhaps replicate the harmonic exercises at the start of this course to ensure that you are comfortable with the harmony and the stride left hand. Start with roots 3rds and 7ths as I do in this course.

Next month I will schedule my seminar along the lines of “Bluesy Jazz Piano Workshop” and we can cover this tune and perhaps some others too.

In the interim try to apply the improv framework that I cover in the 2 courses above to “That’s Life”.

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Sounds amazing Hayden. Thanks so much. Looking forward to it.

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Thanks Hayden. Looking forward to tomorrow’s seminar.