Jazz Guitar Chords in II V Chord Progressions


In this video guitar lesson I’m going to show you some jazz guitar chords in what is called a “II V I chord progression”.

  • My Rhythm Guitar Mastery Phase 2 course has a section on Jazz Chords and different common Jazz strumming patterns. If you are looking to build your vocabulary of guitar chords check it out.

(Video Guitar Lesson 1 of 2)

 

(See Jazz Guitar Chords in II V Chord Progressions – Page 2 for Part 2 of this video guitar lesson, as well as MP3 jam track downloads and a printout page.)

The II V I Chord Progression in Jazz

One of the most common chord progressions found in traditional Jazz music is what is called a II V I. What is a II V I chord progression?

Below you see the notes of a Bb major scale, and I have given each note a number from 1 to 7. Major scales have 7 different notes in them. Chords are build from scales. In this guitar lesson I’m not going to go into the details of exactly how to build chords from scales. The core thing I want you to see are the chords that are build from the 2nd 5th and 1st degrees of the scale.

So in the key of Bb, the II chord is a Cm7, the V chord is an F7, and the I chord is a Bbmaj7 chord. The roman numerals (II V I) are used to indicated that we are talking about chords…rather than 2 5 1 indicating note degrees of the scale.

Jazz II V I Chord Progression Explained

How we are going to play these chords in this guitar lesson is 1 measure of Cm7, 1 measure of F7, and 2 measures of the Bbmaj7 chord.

Jazz II V I Chord Progression in Bb

 

 Jazz Guitar Chords in the II V I Chord Progression in Bb – Version 1

So now lets take a look at some different ways you could play this jazz chord progression. So here are some chord voicings for these 3 chords to start with.  I will be showing you how to expand them shortly, but this will be a basic version of this jazz chord progression to get you started.

Cm7 Jazz Guitar ChordF7 Jazz Guitar ChordBbmaj7 Jazz Guitar Chord

So now try plugging those chord forms into our II V I chord progression. There are many rhythm patterns that you can play with a jazz chord progression like this. As a starting point you might try just playing 4 times in each measure as you are getting used to these new guitar chord forms.

Then try and listen to the rhythms I play in the video guitar lesson for some other ideas of rhythms you might play.

I do have a full chapter on Jazz Chords and different strum patterns and rhythm ideas you can use  when playing Jazz in my Rhythm Guitar Mastery Phase 2 course. So check that out to expand on the ideas from this lesson.

Jazz II V I Guitar Chord Progression in Bb - Version 1

 

For the 2nd part of the video guitar lesson, as well as MP3 Jam Tracks and a printout page, go to page 2 of this guitar lesson.


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