Jazz School: [Major] ii7-V7-IM7 Chord Progression: Basic Chord Voicings

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Lesson Goal: To become fluent in the basic chord voicings for the workhorse ii7-V7-IM7 chord progression in all keys…

The workhorse ii7-V7-IM7 chord progression in the key of C… with chord roots in the bass and closed position chords with voice leading…

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In addition to seeing how the tones in each chord stack up vertically, it is also important to conceive of this progression horizontally in the movement of individual voices through the chords. Follow the flow of each voice as traced by the red arrows…

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Pattern Recognition Notes…

  • Going from Dm7 to G7, the top two voices move down scale-wise while the bottom two voices remain the same.
  • Going from G7 to CM7, the top two voices remain the same while the bottom two voices move down scale-wise.

Homework

Using your ears and knowledge of scales and chord structure, “transpose” this pattern to all spellings in three musically-useful patterns:

  1. Chromatically Ascending: C > Db > D > Eb > E > F > Gb > G > Ab > A > Bb > B > C.
  2. Chromatically Descending: C > B > Bb > A > Ab > G > Gb > F > E > Eb > D > Db > C.
  3. Cycle of Dominants: C > F > Bb > Eb > Ab > Db > Gb > B > E > A > D > G > C.

Doing so will develop an enormous chord vocabulary that you will know by eye, ear, arm, hand, finger, brain, and heart… laying a rock solid foundation for fluent improvisation.

Learn more… [Major] ii7-V7-IM7 Chord Progression: Diatonic Scale-Chord Pairings