Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Playing “Autumn Leaves” with a playalong

I try and illustrate how playing "Autumn Leaves" more freely with a playalong can be both developmental and fun.
This is going to be an important little juncture for me because I’d like you to indulge me at this point. This is section 12 of session 12 (week 12) and I’d like to play for you “Autumn Leaves” with a playalong. I’d like to play it without the constraints of trying to show you a particular thing, even though I wrote out that transcription for you for “Autumn Leaves”, you could tell that I was having difficulty playing it. Well I’d like not to have difficulty for once.
I’d like to actually show you myself playing “Autumn Leaves” with a playalong and what I hope to persuade you is that you can have a lot of fun doing this - that you can really get something going - that maybe you can even swing, even though it’s with a recorded track. Now I may end up using some things that I haven’t fully covered, but I’d like you still to get a pretty good idea that most of what I’m doing we’ve looked at. I’m going to be - in the left hand - using stabs, using legato, using Amen.
In the right hand I’ll mostly going to be playing over the scales we’ve talked about, but I’d be more interested now in trying to make something happen melodically - motivically - taking an idea and extending it. I hope you’ll find this - if I can pull it off - an inspiration, rather than something that’s confusing you. I’m not trying to show off here. I’m trying to persuade you that we’ve got quite a long way now and we’re pretty close to being able to play the music authentically. We still have some work to do but we’re close.

I try and illustrate how playing “Autumn Leaves” more freely with a playalong can be both developmental and fun.

This article is from the free online

Learn jazz piano: Improvising on Jazz Standards

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now