Jazz School: [Minor] iiø7-V7-i: Basic Scale-Chord Pairings

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One way to conceive of the iiø7-V7-i chord progression is as three sets of “scale-chord” or “chord-scale” pairings as follows…

The Dø7 chord is paired with the second mode of the C Harmonic Minor Scale…


The G7 chord is paired with the fifth mode of the C Harmonic Minor Scale…


The CmM7 chord is the C Harmonic Minor Scale that you already know…


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

Pay attention to the overall sound-feelings of the melodic and harmonic motion… the first step in developing the experience required to recognize a iiø7-V7-i when you hear it.

Understanding and mastering such scale-chord relationships is a prerequisite to fluent improvisation because such patterns help us to organize our musical thoughts. Knowing where the notes are, how they relate to each other, and how they look and feel on the keyboard will pay huge dividends when sight reading, transposing, and playing by ear!

Jazz Etude: Using your knowledge of scales and chord structure (and your ears of course), play these scale-chord pairings in C minor, F minor, G minor, A minor, D minor. to build an enormous chord vocabulary that integrates the aural, visio-spatial, kinesthetic and lays a solid foundation for fluent improvisation.

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