The most feared song in jazz, explained
The Greatest Jazz song of all time and its genius explained simply

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Making sense of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." Follow Vox Earworm on Facebook for more: And be sure to check out Earworm's complete first season here: John Coltrane, one of jazz history’s most revered saxophonists, released “Giant Steps” in 1959. It’s known across the jazz world as one of the most challenging compositions to improvise over for two reasons - it’s fast and it’s in three keys. Braxton Cook and Adam Neely give me a crash course in music theory to help me understand this notoriously difficult song, and I’m bringing you along for the ride. Even if you don’t understand a lick of music theory, you’ll likely walk away with an appreciation for this musical puzzle. Braxton Cook: Adam Neely: Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing. Previous headline: Jazz Deconstructed: John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" Some songs don't just stick in your head, they change the music world forever. Join Estelle Caswell on a musical journey to discover the stories behind your favorite songs. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out Watch our full video catalog: Follow Vox on Facebook: Or Twitter:


Adam Neely : Thanks for having me!

W C : Today I learned I'm too dumb for jazz. Very interesting video.

coolseeker : My girlfriend wanted to start a family. I subtly changed the subject to "How the circle of fifths works". It worked. No more baby talk. No girlfriend either.

Esteban Grijalva : Flanagan: What Key are we in? Coltrane: *Y E S*

Muziq : Music = Math Coltrane = "I'm going to add Geometry to that"

Mount Swervemore : Going from Spanish, to Arabic, then to Japanese very quickly is probably the best explanation you can give for this composition. Imagine using those 3 languages to create a sentence that makes sense. Utterly insane.

MANU ALEX : Your presentation and graphics design is out of this world. Awesome stuff

Old Uncle Bob : Country music: 3 chords, 300 listeners Jazz: 300 chords, 3 listeners

Tao Huang : 0:59 - "If you don't understand *a lick* of music theory"

MathematicPony : Me, clicking on this video: "Man this better be giant steps..." Video: "John Coltrane's Gian't Steps–" Me: "thank god"

ktpinnacle : I've enjoyed music for many decades. I knew that jazz was complex and advanced, but I never knew why. It was a language I didn't understand. This video did a lot as an introduction and an appreciation.

zachary Allyn : Very good way to make me learn! Super interesting stuff.

My New Account : "People want to come back home" *music doesn't resolve to I before video ends*

Emad Malik : Can we take a minute to appreciate how well this video was animated, explained, and composed. Good work Vox!

Chau Nguyen : Great explanations. I have no background in music theory but I felt comfortable through the whole video.

Rhys Bees : LOL I love how everyones just angry about how the video did Flanagan dirty

A P : Now that I understood the giant steps stuff I'll go explain it to a friend. He's not gonna understand anything and I'm gonna confuse myself and I won't know anything anymore

Scoobes : Great video. I just hate how he’s holding the sax at 0:35

Austin Martín Hernández : meanwhile today we got songs using just a C F and G cord.

Yes Box : I find flanagan's solo to be perfect for the song as it gives me some room to catch my breath. It gives a dynamic break as it stands in such a stark contrast with the all the other intensity

Christopher MacIntyre : That's one small step for Man, one giant major third step for John Coltrane.

Versaucey : *(jazz music stops)*

CommandoBanano : One of the members of my undergrad jazz combo wanted to play Giant Steps as the 1st set-piece. The pianist just went to the bathroom and didn't come back until the next class with that group.

Clay Old : Everyone else needs to shut up and just let the professional, Adam Neely, talk.

Inverness K : Amazing, thanks! Jazz is always a lovely thing.

mBabe : The moment you realize music is more difficult than coding.

Nurnikman Abd Kadir : 3:21 sound like something came out from Studio Ghibli.

Tony Z : When you said II V I i got war flashbacks

Michael Sampson Sweeney : I don't agree with doging Tommy Flanagan's solo to make your point. That was simply Tommy's style and that was Trane's style. The tune speaks for itself.

Bull shitter : I unterstand Music theory but Not in englisch😂

23rfwrgwhg 1234 : 0:31 How people on drugs play the saxophone.

Kurt Singer : Circle of Fifths great visual. But as a drummer I gotta say Take Five. ;-)

Silumko Soko : I have never been so confused yet intrigued in my life. I have a newfound respect for jazz artists. This is basically genius.

Arman Nobari : The motion design in this (and all of Earworm tbf) is absolute fire

Truth : Brava Brava Estelle!!!! Really enjoyed it look forward to your next videos Adam & Braxton are genius! Maestro Coltrane was light years ahead of our time in music!

CrispyBoi03 : Hates Vox Loves Adam Neeley Well Shoot

rjfear : Wow, people, you are so completely wrong.

The Rainy S Experience : In visual art this video is basically explaining an abstract art.. which will mindfuck us

Joanne Zo : Tommy Flanagan was told that this recording session was for a ballad and was instead handed this. Bamboozled.

Rosário Figueiredo : This is one of the best videos from VOX, it’s superb!

A certain red panda : Came for jazz stayed for music theory

Mk Belandino : Okay i got a new information today about jazz and i even search for a lot of sample just to get this deeply. Then i realize i will not get a conversation about this to any of my friends. But yeah worth watching. Love Jazz!

MisterTalkingMachine : There YouTube, I watched it. I was not expecting Adam Neely. Should have watched this earlier.

Young Paderewski : " Coltrane was somethin.' " Miles Davis

Austin Martín Hernández : just a musician here criticizing the video

BigJay7410 : The thing is, John Coltrane wrote Giant Steps and practiced before the session and so knew the changes while Tommy Flanagan was seeing it for the first time and had to learn the changes within the session's allotted time. I have the suspicion that given a few days practice, Flanagan's solo would have kept up with Coltrane.

David Edwards : It's true jazz, so basicly you can play whatever you want. It doesn't matter what anyone else is playing. Real jazz sounds like all the musicians have picked up different music and are playing it anyway.

Robin Baier : play on 0.5 and she sound super drunk

Sappy. : The drummer was probably like, "Ha! You guys go improvise!". xd