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Term 1 Session 3 - The II-V-I Progression 

Brief DescriptionHow to learn II-V-Is in a useful and practical way.  Ensuring your mastery of all keys.  

The II-V-I progression is often seen as the building blocks of jazz harmony.  I prefer to think of them as the individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.  The picture at the end of putting the pieces in represents the overall form and structure of the tune.  The pieces of a jigsaw are different shapes and sizes but no matter what they look like, we can all recognise them as a jigsaw piece.  II-V-Is are the same.  You can have long II-V-Is that stretch over 2 or more bars, you can have short ones that only last a bar and you can have II-V movements that don't even go to the I.  They are fundamental because they make up a large body of the harmonic material for jazz standards.  They are literally everywhere.  Don't believe me?  Go to your real-book and find a standard, I'm happy to bet there are at least two II-V or II-V-I progressions.  Given that, it is easy to see why we need to practice them in all 12 keys and be able to recognise them.  Please find the worksheets directly below as there are 8 videos in this session.

 

II-V-I Visual Table

Guide and Approach Tones on II-V-Is

II-V-I Worksheet (Optional) 

 

Take me back to Session 2 please...

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