Jazz School: [Minor] iiø7-V7-i 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 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…

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.

Homework

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.


Special Note: While the note B (Ti) works perfectly well as the leading tone in the G7(V7) chord, it may be too harmonically-charged for the Cm(i) chord in some settings. For a simple jazz ballad, the minor-major seventh chord may be “too much” and a simple minor triad will do…

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