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  Autumn Leaves  

Ted’s Arrangement February 22, 1992
Compilation pages by Paul Vachon

Ted's Original Lesson sheet

My compilation pages, changes and comparisons

Autumn Leaves is a song that Ted enjoyed playing in many different keys and styles.  This version is a little challenging, but not too difficult.
Normally written in E minor, Ted made this arrangement in D minor.  If you want to hear Ted playing a completely different version watch Ted’s Musician’s Institute Seminar DVD from June 6, 1993, or go to YouTube and search for “Ted Greene Autumn Leaves.”  He plays it in F# minor (I think) and was an improvised arrangement, so it’s completely different from the attached pages.

Ted wrote at the top of the page:  “Please don’t release notes unless there is a good reason to”—which means to make all the notes in the chords sustain as much as possible while the melody, inner lines, or bass moves.  Give special attention to your fingerings, making sure you’re set up for the chord that follow, especially when there are tied notes.  Ted didn’t include the chord qualities—only the root names, so I’ve added the full names with red ink.

Be aware that Ted makes a few significant variations on the melody in places, most notably starting at measure 11. 

Comments for a few fingering suggestions:
(page and line numbers refer to the compilation pages)
Bar 2:               Try this fingering for the C chord and moving lines:  for the dot notes use fingers 3,4 and then add the X note with finger 1.  Keep fingers 3 & 4 planted, and play the “square” notes with fingers 4 and 1.  Finally, play the C7(b9) chord normally (3,4,2,1).  Keep the C bass note sustained throughout.  Think about economy of motion to make this a very smooth chord move.
Bar 6:               Finger the Em7b5 to E7b5/G# as follows:  open, 1,2,2,2.  Add the X note with finger 3, then just slide it up a half-step to the G# and you now have the E7b5 chord.

Bar 8:               For the Dm6 to A7#5:  2,1,3 then add the X with finger 4.  Now for the A7#5 chord, keeping your 3rd finger planed on the F note, lift the other fingers and place with a barre:  1,1,2.  Finally, play the X.
Bar 11:             For the C13(b9) move, it’s best if you use a full barre on the 11th fret:  2,1,4,3 then for the X notes simply remove finger 4, and move finger 3 to the G# note on the 3rd string.

Bar 14:             Em9(b5) to E7(b5):  open, 2,1,1,1 use finger 4 for the X note.  Keep the first finger barre in place as you transition to the E7(b5) chord:  open (sustained from previous chord), 4,1,3.

Bar 16:             The D bass note comes after the chord, so don’t try to sustain the chord as you add the bass.

Bar 23:             Ted wrote on the C7(b9#5) chord: “Omit this note if you must”—referring to the Bb note on the 5th string.  If omitted, finger as:  2,1,3,4 then lift 4 to reveal the Bb with the barred first finger.

Bar 26:             Two ways to finger the Bb11:  T,3,2,1,4 or 3,3,2,1,4. 
Bars 28-29:      For the Db9(#5) – Cm9 – B9 use this:  2,1,3,3,4 to 2,1,3,3 to 2,1,3,3.  Just slide that shape down.

Bars 30-31:       The Dm6 – E7(b5)/G# – A7(#5)/G – Bbmaj7 is a kind of dark passage.  On the Dm6 chord I chose to play the D note on the 5th string (instead of the C# note).  Try this fingering:  2,2,1,1 to 2,3,1,4 to 3,4,1 then add finger 2 for the X note and keep that finger planted as you move to the Bbmaj7 chord:  1,1, open, 2,4.  
I believe that for playing the Bb9 chord (optional variation for the Bbmaj7) Ted would have reached over and used a finger from the right hand to play the bass note after playing the other notes first.

I hope the notation combined with the diagrams helps you to learn this arrangement.


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