Georgia On My Mind

“Georgia on my mind” is a jazz standard that helped songwriter Hoagy Carmichael break into the American music scene in 1930. Carmichael went on to write many wonderful songs that are now standard jazz music repertoire, but “Georgia” is his biggest hit. Certainly also because Ray Charles produced the song into a pop/soul hit in 1960:


The Ray Charles version is in the key of G major, making it perfect for playing on acoustic guitar.

The first part is mainly characterized by secondary dominantsIn the second bar, the B7 chord summons the parallel minor chord E minor. This is followed by G7, the secondary dominant to the subdominant C major. The diminished chord on the raised IV degree (C#-diminished) leads back to the tonic G major.

In the second part, the song modulates to E minor . The guide tone line between the chords is interesting here. The first four chords (Em, C, A7) are connected by the melodic line B-C-C#-C. With a typical II-V cadence chain beginning again on the raised IV degree (C#m7b5 – F#7), the piece finds its way back to its home key of G major. 

Obwohl die Tonart G-Dur sich hervorragend für ein Solo-Gitarren-Arrangement eignet, habe ich mich in dieser Solo-Version von “Georgia” für die Tonart D-Dur entschieden; unter anderem weil ich mich an einer Version des großartigen Gitarristen Ted Greene orientiert habe.

In the shop you will find a PDF on jazz harmony, an overview of the most important jazz chords (5 pages). This compact but intensive overview is highly recommended as preparation for advanced chord-melody arrangements. The following content will be discussed:

Basic voicings in the II-VI connection

The II-VI connection is the most important chord progression in jazz and the Drop2 voicings shown are an important foundation

The Turnaround & Shell-Voicings

The tunaround is another important jazz chord progression, and shell voicings are abbreviated four-note chords that are great for accompanying jazz standards


Learn to play the Drop2 vocings in other positions and expand your chord repertoire!


With these simple rules, you can add the extension notes 9, 11 & 13 to basic four-note chords!

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