My compilation pages, changes and comparisons
This Antonio Carlos Jobim tune is a great vehicle for a Bossa-style chord-melody arrangement. Ted laid out the chord forms for us, but added, “A rhythmic and ‘filling’ right hand style is fairly crucial to this piece, Latin tune, that it is.” There’s a lot of room for adding stuff and the song really needs it.
Be sure to listen to the 1980 recording of Ted playing Meditation in the Audio section of tedgreene.com website. That recording was made during a private lesson with Nick Stasinos, and it has a lot more going on than what is written in the arrangement page. Nevertheless, they’re both in the key of C, and many of the chord structures are similar. The recording will give you an idea of how you can embellish this arrangement by adding fill-in notes, bass lines, rhythmic punches, etc.
Comments for fingering suggestions: (measure numbers refer to the compilation pages)
Measure 1: Play the bass note with your 3rd finger; this frees the 4th finger for playing the G melody note on beat 4 of measure 2. You might also consider using fingers 3 and 4 for adding notes B and A on the fourth string for a bit of harmonic movement.
Measure 9: In order to sustain the F note between the Dm and the A7+ chords, finger it as: 1,3,4,2, but make a full barre with finger 1, and a partial barre with finger 2 on strings 3 and 2. This sets you up for the next chord. Now, simply lift fingers 3 and 4 to reveal the A7+ chord.
Measure 11: For the Fm9 I don’t know if Ted actually meant for the Ab note to sustain as the melody notes move. I can’t figure out how that would be done, so as a solution I just lift finger 1 from the Ab and use it to play the Gb and F notes on the 2nd string.
Measures 12-13: Finger the C/9 chord as 3,1,2,1, and use the free 4th finger for playing the D# melody note.
Measure 15: Similar to measure 13, finger the Dm7/11 as 2,1,3,1, and use your 4th finger for the F# melody note.
Measure 16: First play the A melody note then add the other notes of the chord. Prep the G13 chord by fingering it as 1,1,2,3 (4). However, when you do so, make a partial barre with finger 2 on strings 3 and 2, so when you want to add the D# note all you have to do is lift finger 4.
Measure 19: On the Fm7/6 chord, you can get the moving melody notes by either fingering them individually or by doing a finger-roll with the 2nd finger (flatten it to catch the Db, then straighten it to expose the C note). If you decide to play the optional C on the 5th sting you’ll definitely need to use this finger-roll technique.
Measure 21: As with the Fm7/6 in measure 19, you’ll need to use the finger-rolling technique here in order to play the melody notes on the Em7 chord. (Notice that Ted uses the uncommon diamond symbol here and also in measure 22.)
When you get to the Coda, repeat the C/9 – A7+ – Ab7b5 – G13 phrase two more times, then add some kind of tag, ending up on C6 (or some other color of C). Listen to Ted’s amazing tag ending on the 1980 recording for ideas.