Watch the Thirds for Autumn online guitar lesson by Frank Vignola from Essentials: Jazz Standard Soloing
In this progression, we have a 2-5-1 Major and then a 2-5-1 Minor. The B section is also using 2-5-1 progressions but inverted, so this song is full of 2-5-1 progressions like most jazz standards.
We'll first play the 3rd of every chord; a great exercise in general. We must play our theory and not just study it from a book. Then, we connect the thirds using scalar patterns and neighboring tones. Playing chord tones is a fabulous composition technique. If you take notice, the melody of "Autumn Leaves" uses the third as the main resting tone.