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Autumn Leaves chords

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#----------------------------------PLEASE NOTE---------------------------------#
#This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the #
#song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research. #
#------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
From: tgannon@charlie.usd.edu (spideir)

 "AUTUMN LEAVES" (Joseph Kosma, 1947--"jazz standard")
 ===============

   -- chord chart "arrangement" by tcg, 198?, 1994
   -- 4/4 // key of Em/G // Allegro (pretty fast)
                           [the way _I_ played it, at least!--
                             just to piss off Roger Williams...]
   -- form: 32-bar--||: A(8)-A(8)-B(8)-C(8) :||
   -- the lyrics? believe me, you DON'T want to know! . . .
   -- each chord symbol = / / / /
       [straight fours: "chunk"-"chunk"-"chunk"-"chunk"]
   -- chords voiced for fingerstyle; may have to alter voicings
       for plectrum (especially Em...)

 A: Am7        Am6        GM7        GM6
    5-55(5)-   5-45(5)-   3-44(3)-   3-24(3)-

    Am7        Co7*       Em         Em [hold for 4]
    5-55(5)-   -3(4)24-   0-545-     0-545-           [repeat A]

 B: B7         B7         Em         Em
    -2424-     -2424-     0-545-     0-545-

    D7         D7         GM7        GM7
    -5453-     -5453-     3-443-     3-443-

 C: Am7        B7         Em         Em
    5-555-     -2424-     0-545-     0-545-

    Am7        B7         Em         Em [hold for 4]
    5-555-     -2424-     0-545-     0-545-

 * Co7 is a substitute for the B7 chord in the "sheet music"; feel free
   to interchange Co7 & B7 in tune [Co7 = B7b9(no root)].

     In fact, the chords above can be viewed as a simple example of
 jazz substitutions--

 A section, "sheet music":    Am   D7   G   G   Am   B7   Em     Em
 "    "     "jazz chords":    Am7  Am6  GM7 GM6 Am7  Co7  Em     Em

 --the WHY's:
   1) Am-->Am7: in most cases, you can play a m7 for a minor to get a
     "jazzier" sound (Santana & Steely Dan did it all the time--likewise,
     in this tune, you could change all the Em's to Em7's...). Another
     common jazz substitution "line" for the plain minor chord could also
     be incorporated into this song: instead of Em  Em, try Em(//)
     Em(M7) (//) Em7(//) Em6 (//).
   2) D7-->Am6: for a V7 chord in a major tonality (here, D7, in G major),
     you can substitute the V9 (D7->D9); in addition, D9(no root)=Am6
     [V9(no root)=ii6]; therefore, D7 becomes...Am6!, which follows
     nicely, voice-leading-wise after the Am7.... ("IT's not MAG-ic....")
   3) G-->GM7-M6: for the I (major tonic or "key") chord, especially
     long stretches thereof, the M7, M6, or both! can be played in lieu
     of the boring plain major chord (though the M7 & M6 would sound
     pretty weird in a country or folk progression!)....
   4) B7-->Co7: see *note above; indeed, most diminished seventh chords
     you'll see can be explained as substitutes for some dominant
     seventh-type chord....

 LEAD notes: I'd tab out the schmaltzy melody, but the reason this
     song is still being recorded by jazz people to this day is that
     it's a fun tune to improvise over (and by the way, only the Lord
     knows why anyone would still want to sing the corny words!).
   Since this song doesn't modulate (unless you count GM<->Em, but not
     really) it's a lot easier to jam over than most "jazz standards."
     In fact, you only need TWO scales:

   1. E natural (aeolian) minor (=G major!) scale: E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E
       --this'll fit all the chords except the B7 & Co7....
   2. E harmonic minor scale: E-F#-G-A-B-C-*D#*-E
       --this'll fit over the B7 & Co7 chords: notice that the only
          difference from the first scale is the d#--in fact, it's
          actually easier to just think "d# instead of d" when you
          come to these chords than to worry about "harmonic instead of
          natural minor! oh, no!...."
   {3. For a little spice, try a diminished 7th arpeggio over the Co7 &
          B7 chords: c-d#-f#-a (true, these tones are in the harmonic
          minor scale given above--just a slightly different approach):

          ______ --try playin' from low to high and back, then experiment
       I  ||1|||  on your own--right, just every three frets in any
          |||1|1  direction!...
          |3||||
          ||4|3|
          |||4|4
          ||||||

   --Now lay down the rhythm track, and go fer it--

 FINALLY, the "sound" of these chords (and associated scales) does
   take a lot of getting used to--even after you get the rather
   difficult fingerings down (took me months), there's still the
   matter of acclimating your ears to actually _liking_ the sound of,
   say, a M6/9b5 chord (took me years!). But if the plain old G-C-D
   stuff is gettin' yu' down, and you also realize you'll never be
   a great speed-metal lead picker--well, this is one logical direction
   of development. . . . Oh, a M6/9b5? :: CM6/9b5: - 3 2 2 3 2 .
   "Beautiful-ugly," ain't it?!


   |
 --:--tcg
   )

            
            
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3 comments total.
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Ruzaldeen 51 Nov 30, 2010 06:36 PM

woo... please make it easier for me to transcribed it into my mind....

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Eurtrude 10 Feb 03, 2013 12:00 PM

<3 !!! fun and really really helpful ! thanks a lot for your time :)

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jayellis57 10 Nov 27, 2015 05:56 PM

Great jazz lesson.... chords, fingering and explanation.

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