When the Leaves Are Falling

Arpeggio Study in D Minor

Classical guitar I wrote When the Leaves Are Falling in 1994 on a steel-string acoustic guitar and have recorded different arrangements of it using acoustic and electric guitars and the piano. The truth is, the only solo instrument on which it sounds remotely pleasing—other than perhaps the piano—is the classical guitar.

The song is highly repetitive with a droning bass. It is easy to play, consisting entirely of arpeggios, making it suitable for the beginning guitarist looking for something more contemporary to practice. Playing the song will teach the first position D minor, F major, C major, and A minor chords. It will also hint at using the fourth finger independent of the other fingers. The use of the high strings for melody and the low strings for bass is at least partially evident.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson it offers the beginning guitarist is at the rhythmic level with respect to music reading. The song contains distinct parts in 6/8 and 9/8 time. If you're new to reading music, you should consider how these compound meters relate to 2/4 and 3/4 time.