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Jazz Comping Autumn Leaves using The Real Book


(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
Topic starter  

some can be looked at as barre chords. the number on the side tells you which fret. I would lay my index finger across all the strings at that number. then use the middle, ring, and pinkie to make the other notes.

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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

The real book doesn't have chord charts, Dogbite.

TMG, it's not the way I'd play it - and some of your diagrams aren't the stated chords.

You show F#-7b5 using E (7th), Ab (bb3), C (b5) and G (b9). It should be xx2212

The Dm7 you show at the 3rd fret is just an Em (GBEG); same with Em7 at the 7th - that's really Abm. Try xx0122 and 02203x for easy versions of the right chords.

The Db9 at the 5th fret is really a Dm7. For a nearby Db9 try x43444. Same thing with the Eb9 - what you show is F#m7.

Jazz rythm parts are done in pretty much one of two ways - either you keep the voicings as close together as possible so it sounds 'smooth', or you have the chords follow the melody line.

If I was going to do a beginning version of this this with close voicings, I might start with 5x555x to 5x453x to 3x443x (Am7-D7-Gmaj7). If I was going for a melody approach, I'd be more likely to play the Am7x10x8-10-8, and the Gmaj7 as x55777 - the D7 I'd probably do entirely as single notes.

There's no set strumming pattern for jazz. That's a whole art in itself - choosing the chord voicings and strumming is called "comping".

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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
 

There are some "tricks" to jazz comping though.

Remember that Jazz is a syncopated style. That means that while the beat is important, it's usually not what you want to emphasis.

So you see a lot of guys strumming in ways you'd never do in rock or courty. Stuff like:

4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |
_ U | D U _ U _ _ _ U | D _ D U _ _ _ U | etc.

Yeah, it sounds wierd and it's hard as heck when you first do it. But if you can get a good syncopated strum going and keep it going, you'll be well sought after as a gigging partner! BTW, I'm not saying this is the pattern too play for Autumn Leaves, It's just one of an infinite number of syncopated rhythms that will work in jazz.

For the chord voices, don't forget to look for inversions (and substitutions if you know how to do that) to get some bass line movement.

For a beginning way to play a jazz tune, try to look for voices that only change at most 2 notes, adn try to keep it so that those tones don't move more than a whole step if possible. This keeps everything smooth and melodic even if you aren't doing chord melody.

Autumn Leaves is a good song to combine the melody and chords, as there's not a lot of melody notes, and there's lots of space in the song. So you can play the melody line, strum the chord for the measure you're leaving, strum the chord for the measure you're entering, and go back to single notes for the melody and it'll sound just fine . . . pick voices close to where you choose to play the melody and it will be easier . . .

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1472
 

I don't know if this is right or not but my teacher is trying to teach me some theory. What he gave me for Autumn Leaves is this: (i'm supposed to be learning what chords are in what keys).

ii
V
I
IV
vii

then
III
vi
vi
III

vi
vi
vii
III
vi
vi
ii
V
I
I
vii
III
VI
V
IV
III
vi
vi


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
 

For the B7 I typically play a B7b9 across the board.

For the E- I tend to play a E-#9, particularly in the B section where there's an F# in the melody line.

The D7b5 is a tritone substitution and it works just fine.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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