Take the A Train: Intros

A well-conceived introduction is a classy addition to the arrangment of a tune. An intro can establish a key center, build a sense of anticipation, establish a rhythmic groove, create a mood. You should have several ideas in your bag. Here are few for your consideration...

Signature Intro

Take the A Train


Repeat ad lib...

Take the A Train

Experiment. Revoice the chords. Try out different left hand patterns. Play ideas, not notes. Find your own voice. Make each idea your own!

Progression to V7

A very common intro pattern is to play a progression that ends on a sustained V7 chord. This clearly establishes the tonic with maximum harmonic tension and sets up a very pleasing release of that tension on the first downbeat in the A section. You should always consider incorporating some melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ideas from the body of the tune. Such anticipatory material is very musical and creates expectations of what is to come. In the example below, I have incorporated two "anticipations": 1) the secondary dominant D7 chord and 2) Chromatic notes borrowed from the signature intro and melody.

Take the A Train

Experiment. Revoice the chords. Play ideas, not notes. Discover your own style by playing around. Make each idea your own!