Part two of this two-part series will explore several of the ideas that are involved with developing jazz licks and lines for the “II-V” progression. Coverage for both the major and the minor key centers are explained, and example licks are provided…
UNDERSTANDING JAZZ HARMONY – Part 2
Developing “II – V” Melody Lines:
Being able to compose smooth and flowing jazz melody lines around the “II-V” jazz progression is an important skill for any guitarist who is interested in performing in the jazz style.
There is a large body of work that must be studied when it comes down to developing the jazz guitar lines which are used in this style. This lesson (along with Part 1), will offer continued help in laying the foundation for performing Jazz Harmony.
The “II, V, I” progression (covered in part one of this lesson), established one of the most popular harmonies that are used in jazz music. This lesson will focus on the scales and the arpeggios that are commonly used when arranging melodic phrases over the Minor Key, “II-V” chord changes.
COMPOSING “II-V” LICKS:
Melodic jazz-based lines can be established for “II-V” chord changes using; scales, arpeggios or intervals. To do this, the musician will first need to establish the tonality of the chord harmony.
Chord qualities applied within the standard Major tonality jazz “II-V” are…
- The II chord in a Major key jazz turnaround is, “Minor 7th,” in chord quality
- The V chord in a Major key jazz turnaround is, “Dominant 7th”
Keep in mind that alternatives to the standard Major “II-V” progression exist.
Scale Type for the Major “II-V”:
When it comes to melodic coverage of the “II-V,” one of the most popular scale sounds used for creating melodic phrases, is the Dorian Mode, (built off of the root note of the II-chord).
By using the notes of the Dorian mode scale, we get an excellent group of scale tones for covering the “II-V” chord changes. Another option available is to cover each chord with the appropriate arpeggio.
For example; if a “II-V” progression was based in the key of “C Major,” the chords applied off of the “II-V” would be “Dm7” and “G7.” The “D” Dorian mode could be performed over those two chords to create a well appointed melody line.
Plus, another option would be to play over the “Dm7” chord with the “Dm7” arpeggio. Then, play “G7” arpeggio over the “G7” chord.
Scroll to the page bottom to download this lessons handout (includes all of the example licks from the video).
Chord qualities applied within the standard Minor tonality jazz “II-V” are…
- The II chord in a Minor key jazz turnaround is, “Minor 7(b5),” in chord quality
- The V chord in a Minor key jazz turnaround is, “Dominant 7th”
Scale Type for the Minor “II-V”:
When performing melody lines over “II-V” chord changes in the Minor tonality musicians will often use the “Harmonic Minor” scale. The tonic note of Harmonic Minor relates to the root note of the “I-chord” of the chord progression.
As with the Major key “II – V,” we can also cover each of the chords of the Minor “II-V” by using the appropriate arpeggios.
Download this lessons PDF handout (link below) to practice the example licks that are demonstrated in the lesson video.
- Click the button below to download the lesson handout
(access to lesson material will require a FREE membership)