Autumn Leaves Guitar Melody for Beginners

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A definite must-know standard, Autumn Leaves is one of the most commonly called tunes at jazz jam sessions. It can be played in Em or Gm, and therefore is an introduction to tunes that are commonly played in more than one key, forcing you to learn it in both keys. There are also major ii V I’s and minor ii V I’s to navigate in your comping and soloing, and the melody line is ripe for a chord melody arrangement.

Besides all of this technique material, Autumn Leaves is just a fun tune to play. It’s challenging, can be played at many different tempos, and sounds great in many ensemble settings. Because of this, Autumn Leaves should be one of the first jazz songs that you learn and study in the practice room.

To get you started with Autumn Leaves, here are 2 ways to play the melody of this great standard. We start with a simple single note version, then you’ll learn a version with some chords mixed in.

We opted to keep the arrangements simple, so that it’s easy to play for beginners.

Autumn Leaves Melody – Single Note Version

Learn the melody as written, playing it along with the audio example. From there, play it along with the backing track and you work on memorizing this important jazz standard.

 

Backing Track

 

Listen & Play

 

Autumn Leaves Melody for Guitar 1

 

Autumn Leaves Melody for Guitar 2

 

Autumn Leaves Chord Melody

When you’ve got the single note version under your fingers, it’s time to learn this easy chord melody for Autumn Leaves.

The melody has been moved to mostly the top 2 strings, compared to the whole fret board in the single-note example. This is to accommodate the chords played below the melody line in this arrangement.

 

Backing Track

 

Listen & Play

 

Autumn Leaves Chord Melody 1

 

Autumn Leaves Chord Melody 2

 

 

The Easy Guide to Chord Melody and Chord Solos




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  1. John LennoxApr 13, 2017 at 3:48 am

    This arrangement is pretty smooth and easy to embellish on; and soloing on it is very easy to do. Fun to play.

    Thanx

    JL

  2. Antonio CarvalhoApr 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Thank you for this arrangement, very smooth 😉

  3. Michael HApr 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Will enjoy working through your excellent outline. Bought the rest ithis was so fun

  4. JOEL - DF - BrazilApr 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks! Excellent Job. Here from Brazil.

  5. Rob LominskiApr 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    So I’m an existing guitar player but new to jazz. Would you recommend playing with a pick or should I learn to use my fingers instead. I assume from the sound that you are playing fingerstyle.

  6. jeanApr 14, 2017 at 1:17 am

    merci beaucoup!
    super tuto pour un debutant

    many thanks
    great for a beginner as i am

  7. KrenwinApr 15, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Marvelous

  8. lifeisabbitchApr 16, 2017 at 4:19 am

    After trying to play this, I realized I am a failure in life, and so through away my guitar and started wearing women’s clothes, and find it much easier to play crossword puzzles in drag. So long guitar!!!

  9. lifeisabbitchApr 16, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I will now pursue my musical side playing jew harp, aka mouth harp, no note thingys to worry about, might smear my lipstick, but who cares right?

  10. AysApr 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    What key is this arrangement written in?

    • Dirk LaukensApr 17, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Hi Ays, this arrangement is in E minor.

  11. CJCApr 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Prior to following you guys a few weeks ago and buying the book shortly after, I had no jazz guitar knowledge. I’m having so much fun playing both of these patterns! Thank you for the quality lessons. Can’t wait to play more.

  12. john hartleyApr 19, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Dear sir
    The 8th last bar chord is a diminished 7th, followed by the same 4 frets below. The min 7th b5 chord is wrong.
    regards
    john hartley

    • JosApr 28, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      You are right. The Em7 chord in the 6th bar from the end is also wrong: note c should be a d. Unless the effect of c is intended.

  13. Raymond CoadApr 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    A really smooth arrangement and one I will love to play in the future.
    Many thanks as I have played other versions and they never sounded right.
    I am new to playing jazz, but I am well and trully hooked.
    Thank You for keeping my enthusiasm going.
    Ray.

  14. Frant GermainApr 20, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    This is fabulous. I really do enjoy the lesson

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