Down the Pipe: A Jazz Ending

Tal Farlow

Tal Farlow

Years ago I was playing jazz with an old timer. Largely due to the fact that I am starting to get into old timer territory myself, I use that term carefully and respectfully. Anyhow, getting near the end of a tune (Bye bye blackbird I think), he yelled over to me…”Down the Pipe”. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what he was telling me. I simply smiled back and said “pretty good” or “same to you” or something like that. The song came to an end and sure enough he went down the pipe. So, having missed his hint and the ending, I made a note of it in my head. After the gig, we talked about it and he explained it to me. Today I want to share this ending with you. There is however another moral to this story. You will become a better player, musician and person if you put ego aside. Learn all you can from whoever you can. Be inquisitive with those in the know. Seek out better players than yourself and play with them. You will always rise towards their skill level rather than them sink to yours. I will say it again: If you are the least skilled musician in the band, you will learn the most. Also remember this when you too become an “old timer” and some young eager musician is trying to keep up. In these situations I always yell over at least once during the gig: “Down the Pipe!”.

The Raw Material

Here is the basic idea. Bass notes are moving chromatically toward a resolve at FMajor7. Also keeping the F note in the melody voice. There are some stretches here so be sure to warm up before playing this.

Down the Pipe Jazz Ending

Down the Pipe Jazz Ending

In this example I simply added a little melody line and punctuated the chords a little more. There are loads of variations you can try here. Find a few yourself. Play with both the rhythm and the connecting melody.

Down the Pipe Jazz Ending Variation 2

Down the Pipe Jazz Ending Variation 2

In this example I just shortened it up. Still sounds great. Be sure to work these endings out in all keys and for jazz guitarists, on different string groups.

Down the Pipe Jazz Ending Variation 3

Down the Pipe Jazz Ending Variation 3

Learn More

Here are a couple of GREAT books about intros, endings and such. I own them and highly recommend them if you want to learn more and play better.

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One Response to Down the Pipe: A Jazz Ending

  1. guelda says:

    Great line, thank you very much for sharing this !
    Can’t wait to be an old-timer to yell it too 😉

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