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Autumn Leaves Chord Questions #2946330 02/13/20 10:17 AM
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Peddler100 Offline OP
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Hi all,

To get the basics out of the way I am a returning adult player who until recently only played classical music. After a recent stroke I decided to start learning Jazz and for a variety of reasons am doing so without a teacher, I am using a paid online service, Piano With Jonny.

While doing the workshops / lessons on the paid site I am also using The Real Book as an exercise tool to help learn chords. Right now I am only playing block chords in the left hand and the melody as written in the right hand. My question has to do with the B7flat9 chord in measure 14, First am I correct that this chord is B, D#, F#, A, and C? To play it as a block chord in the left hand I am playing the 1st inversion of the B7 chord dropping the B and putting flat 9 at the top of the chord like this: D#, F#, A, and C. This also makes the transition from the F#minFlat5 easier. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Another question is in the 24th measure the right hand is playing a E half note while the left hand is playing G7. So I have G,B,D,F in the left hand with a E in the right hand and it really doesn't sound good. I have thought of dropping the 5th note but that still doesn't sound that good. Any thoughts on this?

Lastly any suggestions for a beginning Jazz player on left hand patterns for Autumn leaves. I am learning the stride pattern using the guide tones but was also looking for another approach.

Thanks in advance

Edited to add if anyone has other suggestions on easier pieces in The Real Book as the next step after Autumn leaves I would appreciate it.

Last edited by Peddler100; 02/13/20 10:20 AM.

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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2946350 02/13/20 11:00 AM
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If you are able to spell the root position Five Essential 7th chords (maj7, dom7, min7, min7b5, dim7) which it sounds like you can, I would avoid trying to play tunes with them and instead move on to learning the two standard A and B rootless voicings with added tension over major and minor iiVi progressions. Here they are:

major iiVI progressions
A form: min7 (b35b79) - dom7 (b79313) - maj7 (3579)
B form: min7 (b79b35) - dom7 (313b79) - maj7 (7935)

minor iiVi progressions
A form: min7b5 (b3b5b71) - dom7b9b13 (b7b93b13) - min7 (b35b79)
B form: min7b5 (b71b3b5) - dom7b9b13 (3b13b7b9) - min7 (b79b35)

These are the voicings that pros use. The voice leading is built-in so you don't have to worry about where the notes should go (which is what your original question was about) and the tensions sound great. You will enjoy using these voicings far more and your playing will take a huge leap!

I'm happy to talk more if you or any readers have more questions.


Bill
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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2946464 02/13/20 04:19 PM
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Jazzpianoonline: Those are, of course, great voicings, but for someone playing solo piano, shouldn't they play voicings with roots? Shouldn't a beginner play shell voicings in the left hand, and add the extensions below the melody in the right?

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2946509 02/13/20 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Peddler100
First am I correct that this chord is B, D#, F#, A, and C?


Yes

Quote
To play it as a block chord in the left hand I am playing the 1st inversion of the B7 chord dropping the B and putting flat 9 at the top of the chord like this: D#, F#, A, and C. This also makes the transition from the F#minFlat5 easier. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Well, the voicing you use for the B7 chord depends upon the voicing used for the chord preceding it.

If you voice the F#-7b5 as F# A C E, then the F# A and C constitute the 5 7 and flat 9 of the B7b9 chord …. so all you need is the 3rd and the root and you have the B7b9 chord. So, I would probably just move the thumb on my left hand from E to D# (which is the 3rd of B7b9) and forget about playing the root and I have my B7b9 chord.

Quote
Another question is in the 24th measure the right hand is playing a E half note while the left hand is playing G7. So I have G,B,D,F in the left hand with a E in the right hand and it really doesn't sound good. I have thought of dropping the 5th note but that still doesn't sound that good. Any thoughts on this?


The G7 chord is played on the 3rd beat of the measure and even though it appears that the E note is played at the same time, you usually play it as a "pickup" note leading into the next measure so the G7 chord is not really sounding much at that point and the E note is very short so the listener really does not associate the G7 chord along with the E note.


Last edited by dmd; 02/13/20 05:40 PM.

Don

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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: JazzPianoOnline] #2946669 02/14/20 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by JazzPianoOnline
If you are able to spell the root position Five Essential 7th chords (maj7, dom7, min7, min7b5, dim7) which it sounds like you can, I would avoid trying to play tunes with them and instead move on to learning the two standard A and B rootless voicings with added tension over major and minor iiVi progressions. Here they are:

major iiVI progressions
A form: min7 (b35b79) - dom7 (b79313) - maj7 (3579)
B form: min7 (b79b35) - dom7 (313b79) - maj7 (7935)

minor iiVi progressions
A form: min7b5 (b3b5b71) - dom7b9b13 (b7b93b13) - min7 (b35b79)
B form: min7b5 (b71b3b5) - dom7b9b13 (3b13b7b9) - min7 (b79b35)

These are the voicings that pros use. The voice leading is built-in so you don't have to worry about where the notes should go (which is what your original question was about) and the tensions sound great. You will enjoy using these voicings far more and your playing will take a huge leap!

I'm happy to talk more if you or any readers have more questions.


Thanks for the response. I am learning the the iiVI progressions but I am need to read up on the A and B rootless voicings. Is this something that I would do in place of the block chords that I am playing now?


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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: dmd] #2946670 02/14/20 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Peddler100
First am I correct that this chord is B, D#, F#, A, and C?


Yes

The G7 chord is played on the 3rd beat of the measure and even though it appears that the E note is played at the same time, you usually play it as a "pickup" note leading into the next measure so the G7 chord is not really sounding much at that point and the E note is very short so the listener really does not associate the G7 chord along with the E note.



Thanks for the answers Don. I hadn't considered difference voices for the other chords. Regarding the G7 chord played on the 3rd beat of the measure with the E note are you saying that while it's listed as a half note to play it more like a eight note? I haven't gotten started on changes to the melody at this point. Still trying to get a handle on the left hand before moving on.

Thanks for the advice.

Tom


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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2946696 02/14/20 07:29 AM
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I did some online research and have gotten a better understanding of rootless voicings. I still have some questions about the implementation of the iiVI progression when it comes to Jazz Standards. I understand how to create them in any key but when not sure where to apply them if they don't already exist in the lead sheet. That will be the topic of another post on another day, back to working on chords and inversions.

Thanks.

Tom


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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2946699 02/14/20 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Peddler100
Regarding the G7 chord played on the 3rd beat of the measure with the E note are you saying that while it's listed as a half note to play it more like a eight note?


Well, you play it like you would sing it.

The final decision lies in how it sounds to you.

The E is not a chord tone of the G7 chord AND it is adjacent to a chord tone (F-the 7th of G7) so it might not sound good to you.

You indicated that it did "doesn't sound good" so you should look for a way around it.

Playing it more as a "pickup" might accomplish that.



As for playing rootless voicings …. they are probably more appropriate for playing in a group which contains a bass player because then the bass player supplies the bass of the chord.

However, if you are playing the bass (as in stride pattern) then rootless voicings can work.

Again … it comes down to how it sounds to you.



Last edited by dmd; 02/14/20 07:45 AM.

Don

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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947585 02/16/20 11:05 AM
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What key are you in? Can you post the music?

6 + 7 = 13th. No 13th in my arrangement. The E is passing melody. Must be.

If you don't like the chord though, change it. Try G dim 7. If where I am guessing it is, this will work.

You need to get LH moving. Not block chords, but broken chords with the notes spread evenly across each bar would be nice.

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947612 02/16/20 12:02 PM
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Just curious Peddler100, why E-minor and not G-minor?

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Greener] #2947679 02/16/20 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Greener
What key are you in? Can you post the music?

6 + 7 = 13th. No 13th in my arrangement. The E is passing melody. Must be.

If you don't like the chord though, change it. Try G dim 7. If where I am guessing it is, this will work.

You need to get LH moving. Not block chords, but broken chords with the notes spread evenly across each bar would be nice.


The key is G major. Right now I am working on playing hands together with block chords up to speed then I'll add in some options on the LH. I have been working on the stride pattern in a on-line lesson but that doesn't seem like the best option for Autumn Leaves.


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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947802 02/16/20 08:43 PM
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I thought everyone did this in Gm. No matter, I was just trying to figure out what chords were in question and now I know why. We're in different key.

I think your version is actually in Em (relative of G major and looks the same). Chris was on to it.

Thus, your lead in melody notes are B C# D G, and Em to an A chord. Does this sound about right?

Stride wouldn't be my choice for this, either. I have an idea for you though. I was shown an arrangement with a very simple counter-melody in LH. It was easy to play and effective. I'll make a recording and you can see how you like. Or not like.

I'll be back.

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947812 02/16/20 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Peddler100
I have been working on the stride pattern in a on-line lesson but that doesn't seem like the best option for Autumn Leaves.


By "stride pattern", I assume you mean ROOT CHORD, ROOT CHORD, etc ….

That "stride" pattern can be very effective with one small change …..

Instead of playing ROOT CHORD in every measure ….. Play ROOT CHORD (on beats 1 and 3) and then the next measure play CHORD ROOT (on 1 and 3) and just keep flipping them around each measure.

For the tune you are playing it would then be …

A …. Am7, D7....D, G …. Gmaj7, etc ….

Now …. tied into this … you need to be utilizing inversions of those chords so that you get smooth voice-leading.

A good way to figure out the inversions is to play just 1 chord per measure and decide how to get to the next chord in the simplest manner, then add the Single note for each measure later.

Takes a little getting used to but it can be a very nice accompaniment to Autumn Leaves.



Last edited by dmd; 02/16/20 09:15 PM.

Don

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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947864 02/17/20 03:09 AM
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Maybe this could be some inspiration of "how-to-play" Autumn Leaves. It's a tad bit ramblin, anyhow:

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947869 02/17/20 03:30 AM
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A quick explanation of the playing. It's done impromptu, I had 10 mins to send a recording as a audition for a weekend course with Danilo Perez. So I sat down and played, no time for edits or retakes.

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: dmd] #2947917 02/17/20 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Peddler100
I have been working on the stride pattern in a on-line lesson but that doesn't seem like the best option for Autumn Leaves.


By "stride pattern", I assume you mean ROOT CHORD, ROOT CHORD, etc ….

That "stride" pattern can be very effective with one small change …..

Instead of playing ROOT CHORD in every measure ….. Play ROOT CHORD (on beats 1 and 3) and then the next measure play CHORD ROOT (on 1 and 3) and just keep flipping them around each measure.

For the tune you are playing it would then be …

A …. Am7, D7....D, G …. Gmaj7, etc ….

Now …. tied into this … you need to be utilizing inversions of those chords so that you get smooth voice-leading.

A good way to figure out the inversions is to play just 1 chord per measure and decide how to get to the next chord in the simplest manner, then add the Single note for each measure later.

Takes a little getting used to but it can be a very nice accompaniment to Autumn Leaves.




Thanks for the suggestion Don, this is perfect for my ability and does work well with this piece.


Greener, my version does appear to be in Em, I'm just starting to learn about the minor keys so my bias for the major keys was clearly showing. If it's F# then it must be G major, Not! smile

Chrisbell, thanks for the motivational video. I am a long ways from there but something to strive for.

What is interesting is that I have constantly read / heard about the iiVI pattern and how widely it is used. Now that I am looking at arranging the left hand it starts to make sense and I can see this pattern in the chords. The version in the "The Real Book" starts with A-7, D7 and Gmaj7. then the sequence of F#-7flat5, B7flat9 and E- is present a few times with one variation. Now when I look at it it seems like every chord is part of the iiVI pattern. Am I just imagining this or is this the way others see it.


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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947949 02/17/20 09:13 AM
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Here is another accompaniment style I was talking about. It has this quasi counter-melody in LH. This was from a Teacher I had for a brief stint. You can build on it of course to make fancier, but this is the general idea. Less is more sometimes and this is on the less side. If you like and want to use, it is in the wrong key for you, so you'll need some transposing. I didn't fuss with it too much and nearly forgot how complicated recording can be. At any rate, another idea for your wheel-house.


Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2947976 02/17/20 10:25 AM
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A comment on what key it's played in. The various Real Books have two versions. One is in G minor (first chord sequence C-, F7 Bbmaj), and the other is in E minor (first chord sequence A-, D7, G maj). The piece really alternatives between a major and its' relative minor. I think most people say its in a minor key because that is where it ends.

Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2948103 02/17/20 02:23 PM
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[Linked Image]

So here is the first section with the modified stride pattern DMD had recommended. I chose the chord inversions to minimize the transition between chords. Hows does this look as a starting point?

My plan is the learn the piece with this left hand pattern while working on transcribing Greener's version.

BTW thanks to everyone for the help with this. It's one thing to watch and do lessons on line it is a totally different experience to try to do this yourself. I have avoided any videos on how to arrange Autumn Leaves so that I could get the experience of doing this as a learning exercise.

Any thoughts on doing a walking bass version as well? That would give me 3 approaches for the left hand before I move on to the right hand.


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Re: Autumn Leaves Chord Questions [Re: Peddler100] #2948155 02/17/20 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Peddler100
[Linked Image]

So here is the first section with the modified stride pattern DMD had recommended. I chose the chord inversions to minimize the transition between chords. Hows does this look as a starting point?


I think it looks pretty good.

I think you made a mistake with your A-7 chord ….. the D should be an E instead.

Also …. the F# chord should probably be voiced as C E F# A and then the B7 as B D# F# A.

Then, the Em would be voiced as B D E G (actually Em7.... you could leave out the D if you wanted just Em).

That is probably better voice leading.




Last edited by dmd; 02/17/20 04:29 PM.

Don

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