Sometimes the sheet music for Autumn Leaves shows three quarter notes and then a long note. In fakebooks that can be common.
The idea of a fakebook is to use it if you already know the song decently well though. So a musician can take the rough outline and use their own phrasing. Without a good sense of phrasing of the song, what is written down may not sound very good. It can sound ‘square’.
Being able to read music is an important skill, but it is secondary to listening. We’re playing music after all. People hear music, they rarely admire compositions with their eyes like people admire paintings.
1. Find a recording of Autumn Leave that you like and focus on the first four notes.
2. The fourth note will probably be long. But how do the relative lengths of the first three notes compare?
Short, long, short?
Long, long, short?
Short, short, long?
3. Where is there space between the notes? If so, where?
Here is a recording of me playing the first four notes slowly which you can also check out.