Jazz School: [Major] ii7-V7-IM7 Basic Scale-Chord Pairings

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One way to conceive of the ii7-V7-IM7 chord progression is as three sets of “scale-chord” or “chord-scale” pairings as follows…

The Dm7 chord is paired with the D [Dorian] mode of the C major scale…

piano-ology-jazz-school-major-two-five-one-progression-scale-chord-pairings-d-minor-7-dorian

IMPORTANT: This is NOT the same as Dorian modal music. This is tonal harmony in the key of C Major, not modal harmony in the key of D Dorian.


The G7 chord is paired with the G [Mixolydian] mode of the C major scale…

piano-ology-jazz-school-major-two-five-one-progression-scale-chord-pairings-g-dominant-7-mixolydian

IMPORTANT: This is NOT the same as Mixolydian modal music. This is tonal harmony in the key of C Major, not the key of G Mixolydian.


The CM7 chord is paired with the C [Ionian] mode of the C major scale, which is simply the C Major scale you already know…

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Now let’s put it all together (with voice leading for the left hand chords)…

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Pay attention to the overall sound-feelings of the melodic and harmonic motion… the first step in developing the experience required to recognize a ii7-V7-Imaj7 when you hear it!

learn more… ii7-V7-IM7 Etude: Diatonic Chord-Scale Pairings

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