Hi all, I sat down to practice some guitar the other day a realised i hadn’t play any jazz for a while so i thought i would have a go at playing over the classic standard Autumn Leaves. Now before i start i will admit that i am not a Jazz guitarist. I Love Jazz but i think of myself as more of a rock guy but i thought i’d let you know how i go about playing these changes. If we first look at the whole piece we notice that it is in AABC form which just means we play a section (part A) twice then another section (part B) then play a different part at the End part C)

Let’s first look at the A Section. I’m playing it in Bb although it is often played in G.

So I take the first 4 bars and just think of it in Bb major. The Chords Are

II                    V               I                    IV

|Cm7          |F7            |Bbmaj7         |Ebmajor7  |

You can play Bbmajor over all for chords.

The next four bars are

|Am7b5        |D7alt        |Gm        |Gm         |

for this i see it as a minor II V I in Gminor. So i use G harmonic minor over the Am7b5 and the D7alt Chords and G Dorian (or G Aeolian) for the Gm chord.

The B section is just the A section but switches the first and second four bars around so it

|Am7b5       |D7alt         |Gm               |Gm            |

|Cm7          |F7             |Bbmaj7         |Ebmajor7  |

The C section starts with the same minor ii V  in Gminor but in Bar three and four it does a chromatic chord line with

|Gm7  Gb7  |Fm7  E7  |

for this you can use G dorian to play over Gm7 and Gb7 then F dorian over Fm7 and E7

then it finishes with

|Am7b5        |D7alt        |Gm        |Gm         |

which is the same as the second four bars of the A section.

To kinda recap for the most part you are playing either Bb Major or G minor (Dorian and Harmonic). Get those two scales down and you should be fine to play over Autumn Leaves.

See Below for the complete chords and a video of me trying to solo over the changes. Have Fun!!! I hope this made some sense!