Autumn Leaves Guitar Hacks – Easy Fingerstyle Lesson + TAB

Autumn Leaves Guitar Hacks – Easy Fingerstyle Lesson + TAB

Autumn Leaves Guitar Hacks – Easy Fingerstyle Lesson + TAB

Recently I’ve been on a mission – to make the easiest Autumn Leaves guitar arrangement ever created.

Hey, presto:

After weeks of experimentation and hours upon hours of blood, sweat, and tears, here is the easiest Autumn Leaves chord melody in the known universe.

(Well…there may be easier ones out there, but this version is very playable while still sounding like you’re playing jazz chord melody at a pro level 🙂)

I’ve tried every arranging trick in the book to keep this fingerstyle arrangement as simple as possible.

In this guitar lesson, I’ll show you how to play this Autumn Leaves chord melody, including notation + TAB, so you have everything you need to get this beautiful song under your fingers.

Speaking of the PDF…

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Autumn Leaves Guitar Lesson – Video Table Of Contents:

00:00 Introduction
00:55 Autumn Leaves Full Speed Demonstration
02:08 Slow Trainer (With On-Screen Notation + TAB)
04:02 Tip #1: Use Fingerstyle Guitar Technique
04:46 Tip #2: Jazz Barre Chord Techniques
07:47 Tip #3: How To Practice Guitar Chord Melody Arrangements
09:25 Tip #4: Phrasing & Melody Tips
12:16 Latin Version (Advanced)

Hint: Go to section 2:08 of the video to play along with me at a slow tempo with the sheet music on screen – nifty!

Autumn Leaves: The Most Famous Jazz Standard Of All?

Autumn Leaves was composed by Joseph Kosma, with original lyrics by Jacques Prever (English lyrics by Johnny Mercer).

Interestingly, although this is one of the most famous jazz standards of all time popularized by US artists, Joseph Kosma was a Frenchman.

Many jazz musicians, such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, have recorded instrumental versions of this song countless times. Here’s an example:

Although it’s a cliched song now to play in a jazz lineup, I’ve never gotten tired of hearing this exquisite, haunting melody.

For a jazz guitarist, the chord changes are uncomplicated. Still, the genius of this song is its simplicity – from the use of relative major and minor ii – V – I progressions to the repetition of the same kind of melodic and rhythmic phrases over each chord change.

The English lyrics by Mercer are the icing on the cake that brings a whole new level of meaning to this song.

Best of all:

The way the melody is structured and the key of E Minor is perfectly suited to the guitar’s tuning – with the availability of all those handy open strings.

How To Play Autumn Leaves – Chord Melody Style

Sometimes the tiniest tweaks to a chord melody arrangement can yield enormous dividends to its playability and sound.

Although I’m using largely basic chord shapes and shell voicings, you may need to learn a few tricks to get these working well.

See below for some tips to make this arrangement easy on your fingers and to make it sound great.

Jazz Barre Technique

With jazz guitar chords, you’ll often need to do barres with fingers 2 and 3 – not just finger 1.

This ‘jazz barre’ technique might feel odd if you play classical guitar or other guitar styles – but it’s an essential skill for jazz chords.

Look at the sheet music of the arrangement, and you’ll see several places where you need to use these kinds of barres (specific instances are outlined later in this lesson).

Remember: everything becomes easier with familiarity.

If you practice these kinds of jazz barres for a short time daily, it won’t take you long before they feel second nature. See this post on jazz barres for some useful tips.

How To Play Chord Melody With Fingerstyle Guitar Technique

To play this arrangement effectively, you’ll need to have some solid fingerstyle guitar skills under your belt.

Fingerstyle allows you to simultaneously play independent bass lines, melody notes, and inner harmony, similar to Joe Pass’ chord melody guitar style.

The good news:

You only need to learn a few basic patterns to pull this off. See this post on a handy set of exercises to quickly develop fingerstyle technique:

Fingerstyle Tutorial: The Six Essential Fingerpicking Patterns You Need To Know

Autumn Leaves Guitar Arrangement: Bar By Bar Tips:

Let’s look at some tips for a few passages to help you get this arrangement up and running.

Autumn Leaves Chords – Bar 4:

Autumn Leaves Tablature

Here’s where you need to use one of those 3rd finger jazz barres I mentioned earlier.

Although this can feel initially like an unusual technique (especially if you play classical guitar), don’t get into the mindset of thinking it’s ‘difficult’ – it just feels ‘different’ and ‘new’ to flatten your 3rd finger like this.

Once you get used to it, it’s a natural technique that can be very useful for many jazz guitar chords.

Autumn Leaves Chords – Bar 6:

Autumn Leaves chords guitar

Here’s another jazz barre – this time with the 2nd finger. The ‘½BV’ means ‘use a half barre on the 5th fret’ (V is the roman numeral for 5).

Once again, practice with some jazz barre warmups to work out the correct technique to do this with your second finger – after a while, it will open you up to many more jazz guitar voicings, such as the chords in these 2-5-1 progressions.

Bar 12 – Alternative Fingering:

Autumn Leaves for guitar

Don’t be caught off guard by this tweak on the repeat of the A section. I used a slightly different pattern in the accompaniment this time around.

Here, I use an alternative fingering using open strings to facilitate a better sound and easier transition to the next chord. You’ll often find that these little tweaks can make an arrangement sound drastically better – and be much easier to play.

Bars 26 – 27: Common Chord Shape Down The Neck

Autumn Leaves chords jazz

It makes sense to look for patterns in chord shapes and common fingers in solo jazz guitar arrangements – especially when changing positions on the neck.

Notice how you can keep the same chord grip in bar 26 (in the red boxes) and slide that shape down the neck for bar 27. Noticing little hacks like this makes seemingly tricky passages much easier to play.

Bar 33 (Final Bar): Harmonics

Autumn Leaves solo harmonics

I often finish my jazz chord melody arrangements with harmonics, a neat effect that is easy to execute.

To play them, lightly touch the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers with your 3rd finger in a barre, directly above the 12th fret.


Don’t push the strings down as if you would play them normally; simply touch them lightly. For an added flourish, you can ‘roll’ the fingers to rapidly arpeggiate them (you can hear me do this in the recording) – indicated by the squiggly arrow symbol in the notation. But if you find that difficult, just pluck the notes simultaneously (or strum them with your thumb).

Make sure you check out the full lesson video at the top of this page for more tips and a slow practice video with guided onscreen notation + TAB.

Play Autumn Leaves – Further Resources

  • If you’re interested in discovering more about this fascinating tune’s history, check out this great Wikipedia article on Autumn Leaves here.




  • And finally, if you want to learn how to arrange your own chord melody arrangements, look no further than my Chord Melody Foundations course here.

Reminder: Get your Handy PDF Download:

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Guitar Lesson Wrap-Up – Leave a Comment:

I hope you have as much fun playing this chord melody as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Over to you – what did YOU think of this Autumn Leaves chord melody arrangement? Leave your comments below – let’s get the conversation started….

About The Author: Greg O’Rourke

BMus (Hons), ANU
Professional Guitarist & Founder of

Greg O'Rourke - Jazz Guitar LessonsAward-winning Australian guitarist Greg O’Rourke received his Bachelor Of Music Honours degree in 2006 and was a scholarship holder at the Australian National University School Of Music.
Originally a trained classical guitarist, Greg has developed a high level of expertise in jazz guitar and other styles. Greg’s versatile guitar ability is a credit to several teachers he has studied with over the years, including Mike Price and Don Andrews, well-known performers and teachers in the Australian jazz guitar scene. Greg also studied extensively with Tim Kain, one of Australia’s leading classical guitar performers and teachers.

Greg has given prizewinning performances at the Australian National University Chamber Music Competition and was awarded 1st prize in the Chamber Music division of the 2004 Australian International Guitar Competition.

Greg has many thousands of subscribers to his website and Youtube channel from all across the world. He is also an established author, with his book on jazz chord melody, The Easy Guide To Chord Melody Guitar becoming an international bestseller.

Greg has been featured on several high-profile jazz guitar websites, including Jazz Guitar Online, Fundamental Changes, and Takelessons.

Asturias Guitar Lesson (SUPER EASY Version) + TAB

Asturias Guitar Lesson (SUPER EASY Version) + TAB

Asturias Guitar Lesson (SUPER EASY Version) + TAB

About This Easy Asturias Guitar Tab:

 Isaac Albéniz was one of the most important Spanish composers of his time. In addition, his skills as a pianist and composer earned him critical acclaim. Albeniz never actually wrote a piece for the guitar, but arrangements of his music are staples of the guitar repertoire.

In particular, Asturias (Leyenda) is one of the most famous and beloved music for classical guitar. The piece draws from Andalusian flamenco traditions. Though it was written for piano, it is rumored that Albeniz preferred Tarrega’s guitar arrangement.

Important: Get your Handy PDF Download Of This Easy Asturias Guitar TAB:

Click this link to get a print friendly version of this sheet music for your music stand.

 This easy Asturias guitar tab arrangement is simplified and shortened, suitable for beginners. I hope it allows you to play a fair version of this exciting music.

Check out the video above for a tab play-through and a performance of the music. Also, stay tuned for five helpful tips on how to play this easy music for classical guitar. Don’t forget to download a free PDF of the Asturias tab and sheet music that goes with this lesson (see the link in the yellow box above to access).

See below for some handy tips for getting this easy Asturias guitar arrangement under your fingers (relevent sections from the video are indicated in green.)

Easy Asturias Guitar Tip 1 (see video at 2:30):

Decide your right-hand fingering early. When you practice, your brain connects with the muscles you used for the task. Repetition builds strong neural pathways, making the action more natural.

This connection is called muscle memory. Muscle memory accumulates every time you practice, which is why practice improves our playing. On the other hand, habits are harder to break than they are to build, so we must learn and repeat the correct actions as soon as possible.

Play all the bass notes with your thumb, and play the high notes with a different finger.

The right-hand fingering in the free PDF is labelled according to standard practice.


Asturias Guitar Tip 2 (3:20):

We make certain technique choices to help us play the music more effortlessly; other choices are more stylistic and add character to the music. Sometimes these factors are both taken into consideration, or sometimes they conflict.

Speaking of which, at the end of the piece, in measure 17, we can use a thumb brush stroke or thumb rest stroke to brush across both Es on beat 1. You can do this easily by tilting your right hand forward, with knuckles closer to the ground.


The thumb stroke is more efficient than moving the right hand to pluck both strings with other fingers (for example, i and m). It also gives you a loud and round guitar tone – perfect for the drama in Asturias.

Asturias Guitar Tip 3 (3:58):

Moving on to left-hand fingering choices – check out measure 9 (the same as measures 10, 13 and 14).

In particular, the last two bass notes: B (fret 9, string 4) and F# (fret 9, string 5). A beginner might automatically reach for the B with their third finger, only to have to hop to the F# soon after with the same finger.


Classical Guitar Asturias - Measure 9

Instead, use your pinky for the second last bass note in measure 9. Using the pinky for the B note means seamlessly finding the F# with your third finger without an extra jump.

This kind of economy of motion makes you play more efficiently. Effectively you will be moving slower yet playing at the same tempo.

Asturias Guitar Tip 4 (4:52):

You can make a more advanced left-hand fingering choice in measure 15. Check out the first two bass notes: B (fret 7, string 6) and A (fret 7, string 4). 

Asturias Guitar Tabs Measure 15

You may find it challenging to leap between the B and the A in time, so instead, you can try a half-barre with your index finger in measure 15. Do this by flattening your index finger to press fret 7 across the bass strings.

If this feels too difficult, you can hop or use your middle finger instead. Practice the technique and incorporate it into the piece later since it can make the transition between the two notes sound more fluid.

Asturias Guitar Tip 5 (5:35):

Use a metronome. Turn on your metronome as soon as possible. It will help develop your ear and your sense of rhythm. It can also be a fun way to measure your improvement.

Asturias Leyenda Classical Guitar - Metronome

Keep it slow! Slow enough that you are entirely or mostly on track. If you are not sure how slow, go slower. Relax into playing the notes evenly. As a beginner, set the metronome to tick for every beat you play. Accent the first beat of every bar if you need help staying in time. 

Asturias Guitar Tip 6 (6:26):

Remember, the melody is in the bass. So try to play only the bass notes to hear the main theme. As you do this, think about its direction, phrasing, and dynamics. Try to make it your own. This step of interpreting the music goes beyond technique, but it is best to start early. A cue that has always helped me is, “think like a singer”.


Further Resources:

Reminder: Get your PDF Download Of This Version Of Classical Guitar Asturias Sheet Music:

Click this link now to get a print friendly version for FREE.

OK! I hope you had fun learning this beginner Asturias guitar arrangement and that the tips were helpful. Remember! Don’t give up or expect things too quickly! Instead, set aside a little time daily and have fun while practicing. You will have the song under your fingers in no time.

Leave a comment below: what did YOU think of this easy Asturias guitar tab? I would love to get your thoughts and feedback…

About The Author: Sara Wazani (B.Mus)

About The Author: Sara Wazani (B.Mus)

FretDojo Instructor and Expert Guitarist

From playing in chamber ensembles to teaching pop songs or jamming with local rock groups, Sara Wazani is a diverse professional guitarist and an encouraging expert instructor. Her travels across Europe and the Middle East eventually led her to Vancouver, Canada, where she received generous scholarships to complete her B.Mus. degree. She studied classical guitar performance with Hanh Nguyen at the Vancouver Academy of Music.​

Sara loves music because it connects us on a different level than anything else. It can show us ourselves and others and give us an endless sense of discovery.


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