Jazz School: The ii7-V7-IM7 Chord Progression: Basic Chord Voicings, Theory, & Ear Training

Here is the workhorse ii7-V7-IM7 chord progression in the key of C 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 (traced by the red arrows)…
Study-Practice Notes

  • Right Hand: Notice that, going from Dm7 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 CM7, the top two voices remain the same while the bottom two voices move down scale-wise.
  • Recognizing and internalizing such patterns by sight, sound, and feel (not merely memorizing notes), is essential to mastering this and all kinds of music.

You still have HOMEWORK to do: Using your knowledge of scales and chord structure (and your ears of course), transpose this voicing to all twelve keys. In doing so, you are going 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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