This lesson teaches you 5 different ways to play over a ii-V progression in C major. The ii-V is an extremely common progression that is found throughout all the classic jazz repertoire. Everything from traditional standards like “Autumn Leaves” and “All The Things You Are” to jazz instrumentals like “Cherokee” and “Solar.” They all use ii-V progressions heavily! Even the standard blues progression can be reharmonized with ii-V progressions (check out these ideas in my Jazz Blues GuitarĀ Lesson). In this lesson I show 5 licks to help you navigate a long ii-V progression. This means that every chord lasts a bar. In C major that would be a bar of Dm7, a bar of G7, and a bar of Cmaj7.

The first lick shows how the ii-V progression builds tension and releases on the I chord (Cmaj7) in the third bar. The lick climbs and descends a scale leading toward a release on the E note in the third bar. This feeling of release is because the E is a major chord tone (3rd) of the Cmaj7.

The second lick continues the idea of tension and release but adds even more tension in the second bar over the dominant chord (G7). This is because of the altered extensions (in this case the b9, Ab) that are used.

The third lick expands on the second lick using alterations over the dominant chord. This lick adds the #9 (A#) in addition to the b9.

The fourth lick begins with Fmaj7 arpeggio over the Dm7 chord and continues the use of alterations of dominant chord extensions with a b9 and #5 (D#).

The final lick is an ascending scale run leading toward the 5 of the Imaj7 chord. This lick is the most altered sound of the bunch with all the extensions shown in the lesson in one. The scale line uses the b9, #9, and #5 all over the dominant chord before releasing the tension at the Imaj7.

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