Luke sent me a recording of ‘Autumn Leaves’.
Great song, but his recording seemed a bit different than how I play it. So I recorded myself playing it and compared the two.
In the sheet music I have, the first three notes are all quarter notes. Here is the rhythm of the first three bars as it’s written.
Realized that how I’m playing it is as if the first note is a dotted quarter note (value) and the next two notes are quarter notes. Like this:
There is some freedom to interpret a melody, but if you play with musicians or just want to play with a sense of time, some things fit in, other things don’t really work.
Luke plays the first note short with some space after it, but then the second note is short and rushes into the third which is played longer than the other two. If you were playing it with a group, it’s likely that would make the next note late.
After that long note, you have a long pause after the first long note. That doesn’t really make sense musically, sounds like you lost track of time and guessed where to come back in.
Space after first phrase
Luke plays the long note in the first phrase longer than I do, which in some ways is closer to how the melody is written. However, there ends up being a problem.
After that long note, Luke has a long pause. That doesn’t really make sense musically, sounds like you lost track of time and guessed where to come back in. The next note should start on beat 2, or possibly on the upbeat of 1 like how I played at the beginning.
On my recording, I cut off the long note slightly before its full duration, so I can take a breath and play the next note on time.