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  1. #1

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    I've gotten to the point of learning Autumn Leaves in "The beginners guide to jazz guitar".
    The single note version went great. I can play along with the backing track.

    So, next up: the chord melody.
    What puzzles me is this: when i look at the chord melody, there's a Em7 chord on the stave, with the root on the 4th string.
    When i look at the tab notation, it goes like this: 3322.
    When i look at the chord grips in the beginning of the book, and i have learned them that way, a Cm7 would be 2433. So i'm guessing that would be the same for this Em7?
    And when i look a bit further, it's the same for the Am7.Different notation then the one i've learned earlier on.

    I don't understand why the Em7 is written this way. When i look at the notes on the stave, i get; e, a, d, g. (That's if i'm reading them correctly).
    Could it have something to do with the key this standard is in?

    I hope i'm making some sense here. There's a lot i don't understand yet.

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by Lemuel; 04-20-2020 at 09:26 AM. Reason: Found another chord/new question

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemuel
    I've gotten to the point of learning Autumn Leaves in "The beginners guide to jazz guitar".
    The single note version went great. I can play along with the backing track.

    So, next up: the chord melody.
    What puzzles me is this: when i look at the chord melody, there's a Em7 chord on the stave, with the root on the 4th string.
    When i look at the tab notation, it goes like this: 3322.
    When i look at the chord grips in the beginning of the book, and i have learned them that way, a Cm7 would be 2433. So i'm guessing that would be the same for this Em7?
    And when i look a bit further, it's the same for the Am7.Different notation then the one i've learned earlier on.

    I don't understand why the Em7 is written this way. When i look at the notes on the stave, i get; e, a, d, g. (That's if i'm reading them correctly).
    Could it have something to do with the key this standard is in?

    I hope i'm making some sense here. There's a lot i don't understand yet.

    Thanks for the help!
    I'm only on my first coffee but my guess is that Em7 notation is an error. I could see writing it as a 2233 notation where you play the e on the fourth string second fret, an A at the second fret on the G, a D at the third fret on the B, and a G at the third fret on the first string. That gives you an Em7 add 11 sound by way of stacked fourths (a very modern sound). It is a movable shape and it is a quick and modern sounding substitute for an Em7.... Hope I am reading this right.

  4. #3

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    Hey Roberoo,

    thank you for the help. Here's what i mean. You can see the Em7 notation. It's written like you said, but i don't understand why that is.
    Attached Images Attached Images Autumn leaves question-em7_question-jpg 

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemuel
    Hey Roberoo,

    thank you for the help. Here's what i mean. You can see the Em7 notation. It's written like you said, but i don't understand why that is.
    Basically, there are many different forms for each chord. So, even on the top four strings there are at least four basic ways of playing the same chord Em7 (spelled E G B D). They are just different inversions. Jazz also uses what one might call "representational harmony" where the player may use a chord form that suggests or approximates the written harmony. So if the written chord calls for an Em7 the player may play an Em9, an Em/maj7 or an "EM7 add 11" or maybe even a Gmaj7 to represent the Em7 but give it a slightly different colour. So, in the example you could play an Em7 in the same shape as that Am7 earlier in the piece (try it and you will see) You can also substitute an Am7add11(7788 on the top four strings) for the plain vanilla Am7 at the beginning. It is mostly a matter of taste.

    All this works because, while you are changing bits of the harmony, you are keeping key notes in the original harmony so it still makes sense to the listener. The Em7add11 is spelled E A D G while a plain vanilla Em7 in the same position would be spelled E B D G. There are 3 notes that overlap but replacing the B with the A gives the sound a more modern colour. You can do this with most other chords so, for example, a piece may call for a Cmaj7 but a player may choose to represent that harmony by playing a C6/9 a Cmaj6 or a Cmaj7b5 depending on the desired effect. The life long jazz guitar journey involves learning how to uses these different representational harmonies and many other substitutions.

    Does that make sense?

  6. #5

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    Without knowing more about the context*, I would simply guess that what they are saying is that the ‘basic’ chord at that point is Em7, but that in the chord melody arrangement they are actually using an Em11 (if that’s the right name) for a bit more colour. Look at bar 2, they have done the same with the Am7 chord, it is really Am11.

    This type of quartal chord is very useful for such arrangements, it’s easy to play and sounds more interesting than the basic minor chord.

    (*ok, now I see it is a lesson on the forum site).

  7. #6

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    Yeah, the lesson is teaching the song, but also teaching that the chord symbols in a lead sheet are just basic harmony; that what you might play specifically (exampled in the tab) may depart from that with added color. This is an important lesson in developing the habit of interpreting a lead sheet to learn how to modify the harmony...

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemuel
    I've gotten to the point of learning Autumn Leaves in "The beginners guide to jazz guitar".
    The single note version went great. I can play along with the backing track.

    So, next up: the chord melody.
    What puzzles me is this: when i look at the chord melody, there's a Em7 chord on the stave, with the root on the 4th string.
    When i look at the tab notation, it goes like this: 3322.
    When i look at the chord grips in the beginning of the book, and i have learned them that way, a Cm7 would be 2433. So i'm guessing that would be the same for this Em7?
    And when i look a bit further, it's the same for the Am7.Different notation then the one i've learned earlier on.

    I don't understand why the Em7 is written this way. When i look at the notes on the stave, i get; e, a, d, g. (That's if i'm reading them correctly).
    Could it have something to do with the key this standard is in?

    I hope i'm making some sense here. There's a lot i don't understand yet.

    Thanks for the help!
    It's a good question and reveals a blind spot a lot of us maybe don't even remember having. But it occurred to me that you're talking about the fact that that voicing "isn't Em7" in the sense that Em9 isn't simply Em7.

    This distinction of specificity in chord voicings isn't looked at as literally in a Jazz style of playing and making charts as other styles music. Specific extensions are mostly left out of simple Real Book -style charts. The chart would say "Em7", and jazz players understand that this represents the "minor chord family " of voicings which could be drawn upon. It's then your job to embellish the harmony and not simply play the basic chord symbol.

    "Minor chord family" chords would be Em7, Em9, ..11, ...13, sus chord voicings etc etc. you can also get into a lot of different chord substitutions etc. These all fall under the category of "things you can play over Em7" from a simple chart.

    This way of talking about chords would be more obvious in later, more complex tunes which don't have melody note targets all being on the third of the chord, the way that they are in Autumnleaves.

  9. #8

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    Wauw. Thank you all for helping out. And here's me, thinking; "ok, i know how to play a minor chord. Job done". Not!
    There seems to be so much more going on. Didn't even see the exact chord there.

    There's so much more for me to learn. I'll stick to this course for now, and see where i go from there. I've gone and bought me the guides to chord melody, guitar arpeggio's and guitar chords too. Looked like a good starting point for a beginner like me.

    Again, thank you all for the help. It's been very very usefull.

  10. #9

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    It’s useful to remember what Joe Pass said - he said there are only 3 chords, i.e. major, minor and dominant.

    Ok it’s a simplification, but I’m sure if Joe saw Em7 on a chart he would select any type of E minor chord extension (or a chord substitution) that his ear told him sounded good.

  11. #10

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    xx2233 is, as others have pointed out, E A D G.

    Em7 is E G B D.

    In this case, the notes on the staff are not what the chord name specifies. It's a liberty taken to improve the sound of the song. Some writers would have put Em11 in parenthesis above the Em7.

    There's a recent thread on what to call xx2233.

    Em11 is probably as good as any of the suggested options. But, technically, Em11 is E G B D F# A. A pianist might play that.

    So, xx2233 is a fragment of an Em11 chord.

    I won't repeat all the suggestions for naming it that were made. I will just say this much.

    1. E to A is an interval of a fourth. Then A to D is also a 4th. D to G is also a 4th. So this is a 4 note "stack of 4ths".

    2. I don't think we came up with the perfect name for this chord. I like E4, but even that idiosyncratic name doesn't specify how many 4ths to stack. If you made it a 5 note stack there would be a C on top of the chord -- and that is not likely to be the sound you want in Autumn Leaves.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    xx2233 is, as others have pointed out, E A D G.

    Em7 is E G B D.

    In this case, the notes on the staff are not what the chord name specifies. It's a liberty taken to improve the sound of the song. Some writers would have put Em11 in parenthesis above the Em7.

    There's a recent thread on what to call xx2233.

    Em11 is probably as good as any of the suggested options. But, technically, Em11 is E G B D F# A. A pianist might play that.

    So, xx2233 is a fragment of an Em11 chord.

    I won't repeat all the suggestions for naming it that were made. I will just say this much.

    1. E to A is an interval of a fourth. Then A to D is also a 4th. D to G is also a 4th. So this is a 4 note "stack of 4ths".

    2. I don't think we came up with the perfect name for this chord. I like E4, but even that idiosyncratic name doesn't specify how many 4ths to stack. If you made it a 5 note stack there would be a C on top of the chord -- and that is not likely to be the sound you want in Autumn Leaves.
    If you put a C in the root, or even on top, you'd call it a C6/9 which is I think a pretty decent name for it. You can also put an F in the bass and it's an F6/9. Versatile chord shape, for sure. My only complaint about Em11 is that this shape works well for a "tonic" sounding minor and I tend to think of 11th chords as more tension-creating. They have a kind of suspended sound that I don't hear with this shape. It's a solid resting chord. So I'd probably go Frankenstein can call it Em9 add4

  13. #12

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    I wouldn’t worry about what to call it. It’s just an available option for Em. The only rule is, does it sound good or right for the context?