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Guitar Styles:
Understanding Jazz Harmony

             


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UNDERSTANDING JAZZ HARMONY
Part 1: Analysis of the Progression

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Analysis of the II V I Progression:
The chord movement known as the; "two," "five," "one," is by far the most popular jazz chord movement out there. Most of the jazz standards contain this cycle of chords. It's popularity is on the same level as the 12-Bar Blues set of chord changes. To fully understand this concept we must develop a firm grasp of the notes found in each chord and how they operate reflecting the strength of the resolution from the "two," to the, "four," and finally to the home chord, (the, "one").

CGS

Andrew discusses this chord movement strategy in detail in this first video on the chord movement of the popular, "II," "V," "I," jazz chord progression. An excellent book I would highly recommend on this topic is; The Jazz Theory Book, by Mark Levine. It is a solid resource for all improvising musicians regardless of instrument or stylistic direction.

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UNDERSTANDING JAZZ HARMONY
Part 2: Developing II - V Licks & Runs

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Developing Lines for the II, V, I Progression:
Lines can be established for this series of chord changes based upon either scales or arpeggios.

MAJOR: The II chord in Major key jazz turnarounds is "Minor 7th." The V chord is "Dominant 7th." By performing the Dorian Mode off of the root of the two-chord we can achieve a solid selection of tones for covering these changes. Another option is covering the changes with arpeggios.

CGS

MINOR: In minor keys we see a II chord showing up as "Minor 7 (b5)" and the V chord being "Dominant 7th." In this tonality we can cover these changes with the "Harmonic Minor" scale built off of the root of the "I" which we resolve toward. As with the Major key "II - V" we may also cover these chords with the appropriate arpeggios. An excellent video I would highly suggest on this subject is by, "Jimmy Bruno." It is called; No Nonsense Jazz Guitar.

The PDF document below contains a handout with all of the II - V Licks from the video.

chord_booklet

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