Jazz School: [Minor] iiø7-V7-i Chord Progression: Basic Chord Voicings


Lesson Goal: To become fluent in the basic chord voicings for the workhorse iiø7-V7-i chord progression…

Here is the iiø7-V7-i chord progression in the key of C Minor in its most basic form, with chord roots in the bass and closed position chords with voice leading…

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…


Special Note: For many jazz ballads, a simple minor triad is the most appropriate choice for the tonic chord, as added color tones may be “too much” harmonically-speaking in that context.

Study-Practice Notes

  • Right Hand: Notice that, going from Dø7 to G7, the top two voices move down scale-wise while the bottom two voices remain the same.
  • Right Hand: Notice, that, going from G7 to CmM7, the top two voices remain the same while the bottom two voices move down scale-wise.


Using your ears and knowledge of scales and chord structure, “transpose” this pattern to all minor keys around the Cycle of Dominants: C > F > Bb > Eb > G# > C# > F# > 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.

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