Moving toward transposition of whole tunes
As a step between learning a tune and transposing it to all keys, it's helpful to have a few basics already under your fingers (and in your ears). These can (and should) be practiced the same way as described for practicing "Autumn Leaves": just the 7th of each chord, 3rd and 7th of each chord, etc.
This post has four main headings: ii-V, 12-bar blues, Rhythm changes, Concluding tips.
"Autumn Leaves" is a great tune for this particular question, because it is largely ii-V based. So as a step transposing, you would do well simply to practice ii-V progressions, which lend themselves to moving cyclically through all keys.
There are many different ways to do this, but a few basics to get started:
C-7 F7 Bb-7 Eb7 Ab-7 Db7 ... D-7 G7 (this takes you through six keys)
B-7 E7 A-7 D7 ... C#-7 F#7 (this takes you through the other six)
C-7 F7 Bbmaj7 Bb-7 Eb7 Abmaj7 Ab-7 ... D-7 G7 Cmaj7 (as above, do this one also starting from
C-7 F7 B-7 E7 Bb-7 Eb7 ... Db-7 Gb7 (this covers all 12 keys)
All of the above, but substitute min7b5 for min7, and when the I chord is present, of course that would also be minor.
Again you can use all of the above patterns, but here, instead of the dominant 7 chord, you substitute the 7 chord a half-step below the ii chord. For example, the first patter:
C-7 B7 Bb-7 A7 Ab-7 G7 ... D-7 Db7
Blues is so ubiquitous in jazz, that you should be proficient in all keys. This will give you a leg up on lots of blues-based tunes, even ones that further vary from the simplest forms. 16-bar blues, modal blues, bebop blues (which typically use lots of ii-Vs) all have their underlying basis in the basic 12-bar progression.
For practice purposes, I use this form, because it's simplest.
| C7 | C7 | C7 | C7 |
| F7 | F7 | C7 | C7 |
| G7 | G7 | C7 | C7 ||
Or, if you prefer:
| I7 | I7 | I7 | I7 |
| IV7 | IV7 | I7 | I7 |
| V7 | V7 | I7 | I7 |
If you want to practice continuously "around the cycle", just change the last I7 to be a ii-V into the new key.
I-VI#-ii-V / Rhythm changes
The chord progression for "I Got Rhythm" is also ubiquitous in standards. Both the A-section progression (I - VI - ii - V) and the form as a whole are good to know in all keys.
You can find the chord changes on Wikipedia.
Note that this common variation on I-VI-ii-V is really just the ii-V pattern from above.
Another common variation. For example:
C C#o7 D- G7
- When practicing through cycles, remember to start in different places within the cycle so you don't just learn it one way.
- When you are confortable with, say, tri-tone substitutions, you can add them into the other patterns you're learning. For example, instead of
- It isn't necessary to fully master these before you start transposing. Rather, they just give you a leg up, but you can be working on both at the same time.