Stop F%*#ing Up Footprints

Peter Martin shows you how to fix three common mistakes people make when playing Wayne Shorter’s classic standard “Footprints.”

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What’s going on? Peter Martin here for Two Minute Jazz. What is that? That’s the correct introduction to “Footprints.” It’s a wonderful tune from Wayne Shorter that is often butchered. But we’re gonna fix that today. I’m gonna talk to you about how to stop playing this tune wrong. I’m gonna give you three major errors in this and how to fix them.

The first is that bassline and that little counter-melody. It’s even part of the melody. Anticipate it, one, two, three… Okay, so you’ve gotta get that part of the melody right as anticipation and the bassline needs to be on the beat.

You can always leave it later on, but let’s start there. Then the next part, F minor, again, we can play whatever we want, but the original stays on that drone, that pedal point C is F minor over C, not F minor. Alright… And it’s not perfect fourths, that’s a different song. Now can you play that? Sure, you can play whatever you want, but know the original first, okay? So get the right bassline.

All right, the third major thing we’re gonna fix today is the changes on the bridge. F sharp half diminished but with that major ninth. And you gotta know the melody and how it lays. Then we go to F13 because that’s part of the melody, sharp 11. So F# half diminished with the ninth, natural ninth, F13 sharp eleven, and now we’ve got E9 with the flatted fifth. Not… or sharp nine. I mean, you can play that, but that’s not what Herbie played on the original, on Adam’s Apple. And then we got A7 sharp nine flat 13. Then we got blues comin’ down.

Okay, fix those three things and you will be jammin’ on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints.” Happy practicing.

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