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Autumn Leaves Chord Extensions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Wxp4759cb, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I've recently started getting back into trying to revive my jazz chops. I've been trying to start off soloing over some basic standards - one of which being autumn leaves.

    I'm playing the song in Gm and I have a couple different real book versions. (the newer real books seem to have it in Em, but my recollection is that everyone played it in Gm at least in Kansas City) To my ear it sounds like the lead sheets may be leaving out some of the chord extensions, and I am seeking some advice from others.

    In particular, it sounds like the D7 in bar 6 should be a b9 or some other type of altered chord. It also sounds to me a bit like the EbMaj7 in bar 4 should have a #11. Any more experienced players have any thoughts on this?

    Also assuming that the D7 is a b9 what scale should I use over this? I've tried a D half-step/whole-step diminished scale, but it sounds pretty outside. Is there a different scale I should be trying?

    Also, as a more general question, I seem to remember that a V7 chord resolving to a minor I is generally an altered V? Is this correct?

    Its been awhile since I've worked on this stuff. Thanks for any input!
  2. Could The D7 be G harmonic minor? The F# is pretty incidental to add a nice cadence to the V7 - i. The b9 (of the D7) is part of the Gmin scale as well. I seem to remember a #5 (A#/Bb) in the melody over a D7 towards the end of the tune as well.
  3. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    That is a good idea to check the original melody against the chords. I feel a little dumb for not doing that earlier haha.

    You are correct that there is a d7#5 latter in the tune. I will try out your harmonic minor idea when I get my bass back in my hands. Might it be a problem though having both fifth and b13 in the same chord? I thought usually a b13 called for a #11 and no 5th? There also would be a problem over the v7#5 chord you mention, as there is a natural fifth using the G harmonic minor.

    I appreciate the advice, and will check it out though!
  4. Pretty sure there is always a Bb (D7#5) in a G minor scale but you don't need to play every note in the scale, only the ones that sound good. ;)
  5. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    what a great idea for a thesis

    I'm sure you learned a great deal
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
  7. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    Todd Johnson's 2nd book in his series has 'Autumn Leaves' as well

    I worked on that for almost 6 months (I came at walking bass with no bass playing background and impatiently aimed well beyond my ability)
    The Todd Johnson lines are quite a leap from the previous lessons. I found it a very rewarding exercise in theory and practice. It's a great piece for beginning jazz study with the major and minor progressions and no key center fingering shifts. Just about everything you need to know can be found in that piece.

    so why do you thing Roy Vogt shifted the key?
  8. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    This site lets you print charts in any key. The default for Autumn Leaves is G minor.
  9. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Bar six is a Dom7 resolving to a minor chord, so yes, a D7(b9) is an appropriate voicing, especially since Amin7(b5) D7(b9) Gmin is the minor version of a ii V I (in this case ii(b5) V(b9) I).

    G harmonic minor works, as bb_78 mentioned.

    An Alt chord is specifically a Dom7 chord with neither the natural 5th nor the natural 9th. It could be (b9#9b5#5b13) but that sound is pretty dense, and needn't be used for every V I. Typically Dom7(b9b13) is used to i.
    Horns? Gmin; No horns: Emin. More or less...
  10. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    to my ear nothing begs to be resolved quite so much as a dom7(b9)

    a bass mentor told me upper tension notes in an extended chord are usually too much a mess on bass, but throwing in that b9 can work
  11. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    And no chord accepts altered non-chord tones quite like a Dom7 chord. But as to the Dom7(b9), I generally treat that b9 as a chord tone. In most resolutions to a one-minor, it's that strong. This approach to the b9 leads to an important re-harm in jazz theory:

    Let's take a D7(b9): D F# A C Eb (yes, it's correct to mix sharps and flats when the chord tones are in a sharp key and the non-chord tones are flatted).

    Now let's look at the diminished chords (1 b3 b5 bb7). Build a diminished chord on the b9 (Eb): Eb F# A C. That's basically the same chord as D7(b9), with the root of the D7(b9) replaced by the b9. Note that there are only three diminished chords. Pick any note, and build a dim7 chord. Then build another dim7 chord on the note a half-step higher; then build a third dim7 chord on the note another half-step higher. You've covered all 12 notes, so any dim7 chord is a voicing (or, if you prefer, inversion) for four dim7 chords. Lots to be done with this, but just introducing the idea in a thread that will likely fade into oblivion (but I hope not).
  12. Here's a worksheet that Dan Haerle, longtime professor of jazz piano at UNT, put together years ago on just about every dominant scale you could want.

  13. deckard


    Apr 4, 2003
    How utterly refreshing: a conversation in the Bass Guitar forums about a jazz "standard" where the particpants actually exhibit a knowledge of notated music, chord extensions, etc. - wonderful!

    You guys just made my day! :)

    And no, I'm not being sarcastic...

    This may be just me, but I've often wished we who play bass guitar exclusively and who also play a lot of, or mostly, or all jazz could have our own forum here in the Bass Guitar Forums...

    (big sigh)

    But that will probably never happen.

    And now, back to "Autumn Leaves"...

  14. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    I got as far with my piano studies to look at chord substitutions and reharmonization (in a lot of cases because I was looking to compose a bed based on a chord progression and wanted to steal from the best, but not have it too obvious that I was stealing)
    but I hadn't given any of that a thought since I started playing bass.

    FretlessMainly thanks for bring the concept back into my thinking with that dom7 flat 9 to dim7 substitution
  15. jake3

    jake3 Guest

    Aug 23, 2013
    that thesis is very interesting to read, thanks for posting it.
  16. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    On the D7 with the b9, there's an interesting scale to use that I've heard called many different names. I learned it as Spanish Phrygian. It's a Phrygian mode with an added major third. Really, it's functioning with a b9 and a #9 which adds an extra note to the scale. The scale would be: D-Eb-E#(F)-F#-G-A-Bb-C.
  17. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Yeah ... but you can also use whatever you want over that D7 chord ... I could play Gmaj7, Amin7 I could even use F#dim if I so choose ... that all will work because all that ( including the D7 chord ) are derivated from G major ...

    the problem with Jazz book is : they are really stuck in the idea that you no other choice than use that scale of that chord otherwise you aren't jazz.

  18. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Em is the key that's in the standard "Real Book". Gm is the key that Miles and Cannonball Adderley did it in and is in "The New Real Book" by Sher Music. I just felt like the Em key would be easier for a beginning player to get an understanding of since there's only the F# accidental.
    Here's that great Miles/Cannonball recording, BTW:
  19. madurolover


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa Fl
    I think I have a lot more to learn
  20. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I have to confess that if I hadn't bought a double bass some 21 years ago just before I became an impoverished graduate student, and dropped all affiliations with any music except for jazz, I never would have learned this stuff. I'm sure glad that I did, now that I'm playing R&R again (and itching for some jazz work on fretless electric).

    When I was studying with Bruce Gertz back in the late 90s, this was a !!! moment for me. I'm still trying to incorporate all the possibilities into my everyday playing. Before that, a dim7 chord was a connector and a substitute for a secondary Dominant only (e.g., CMaj7 C#dim7 Dmin7 G7) and after, it became more.

    But if you look at that example, the C#dim7 is really just an A7(b9) without the root of A. In other words, it's the exact same reharm for a Dom7 as I described in my earlier post. So it took some context for me to understand that these substitutions are often just revealed when you think about them in different ways.

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