CHORD PROGRESSIONS ~ Page 7 - exercise 5 - Bajan Pied Piper





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Uploaded on Mar 31, 2010

Around the Circle of Fifths we go with a vi-ii-V-I progression. This is a wonderful exercise, touching all 12 keys.

Please check my web site -
Here you will find important information about chord progressions, practicing chord progressions and improvising. (No point repeating it here!)

Please see the previous six pages in this series if this is the first one you've come upon.

EVERY SONG is made up of chord progressions e.g.: I-vi-ii-V-I; I-iii-vi-ii-V-I; I-IV-V-I etc... An analysis will show you innumerable songs have identical progressions!

Take a look here ~

WHAT IS THIS TELLING YOU? Learn to play over progressions with pizzazz and you'll be champion when you meet them in a song! Yes! It's that simple if I may say it simply!


A song may consist of many progressions Example ~ there are three ii-V progressions you can notice in this illustration ~

Cmaj7 / Dm7 G7 / Em7 / A7 / Dm7 / G7 / Cmaj7

Dm7-G7 forms a ii-V in the key of C
Em7-A7-Dm7 forms a ii-V-I in the key of D minor
Dm7-G7-Cmaj7 forms a ii-V-I in the key of C

This video is a vi-ii-V-I progression following the circle of 5ths through all 12 keys. I have put the ii-V in the two center columns resolving to the tonic in the 4th column. It begins at slow tempo and increases,

HOW TO USE THIS BACKING TRACK ~ If youre playing a chording instrument you can of course strum or comp the chords but if you want to be serious about music you have to think single notes and improvising. Start by playing just one note, repeated as often as you like, over each chord in the progression. Once you feel good about expressing yourself with one note, move on to two, then three, etc. You want to play over the chords until you can do it automatically, meaning you can play them instinctively, intuitively. This takes time and practice. However, when you achieve this you will be light years ahead of where you are now.

LET THE LAST NOTE OF YOUR CHORD FLOW EASILY TO THE FIRST NOTE OF THE NEXT CHORD. Let there be a small step ~ not a big jump. To enable this you may have to break up the sequence of the notes in the chord and instead of playing, for example, C E G you may play G E C if the starting note of the next chord is (say) D. From C to D is a step but if you played G to D it's a big jump which, generally, for smoothness, you should avoid.

One of your prime concerns should be to play melodically, there should be a sense of continuity in your lines and they should be interesting in themselves. As a general rule in improvising, you should strive to advance or retreat in small increments, not in big jumps ... altho big jumps, here and there, are OK too. You know - there is nothing cast in concrete where music is concerned! It's what sounds good. Generally speaking however, to create nicely flowing lines you want to avoid wide jumps. You realize I'm pointing you more specifically, things are getting more technical!

As you gain in proficiency using this progression exercise, begin to extend the basic triad chord to a 6th, 9th or further and play the notes. Then try sharping/ flatting a note on the extension. Maybe 2 notes? YOU'VE GOT TO EXPERIMENT!!! E.g. in the key of C stead of playing G or G7 try replacing it with a G7#11, a G7b9b5 or a G7+ etc. ~ all of which still fulfill the dominant function of the basic G7 ... but these "upper level" chords give your playing an aristocratic sound....

Bear in mind the 3rd and 7th notes of the chord are the notes that most define the sound of the chord. Obviously there is no 7th note in a triad chord! This is one reason good musicians extend the basic triad chord to a 6th, 9th, 11th,13th, whatever. If you emphasize the 3rd and 7th notes of the chord in your improv it will help guarantee that your lines will accurately imply the changes. On the other hand if you emphasize the other scale tones it can add a harmonic richness to the sounds.

And of course you are free to use notes that are not in the chord or scale ~ like throwing in a semi-tone here and there ~ let your ear be your guide!

Well enough verbiage for this vid!

Practice is the ONLY WAY to perfection! I hope you derive great benefit from practicing with this backing track.

To find the notes of any chord, visit either of these sites:



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