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CVI1 Lesson 8: 9 videos

II-V-I  (2-5-1)

II-V-I is the most common chord progression.
If you want to improvise in Jazz music this is one of the first things to know.
Be sure to learn everything in the first tab, this way you will understand what goes on in the next tabs.

1 II-V-I (2-5-1)

The most common chord progression in Jazz is the II-V-I (2-5-1) progression. We have to take a look at this progression and also look into the chords. How do we find these chords, how do we recognise them and how do we deal with them?


  • Am I playing too fast?
    Hover over the video, click on “1x” and choose your speed.
  • Do you want to repeat part of the video?
    Hover over the video, click on “AB” then set the beginning point with “i” and the end point with “o”.

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2 II-V-I in D tempo 100

We will start with some basics over II-V-I in D  (Em7 – A7 – Dmaj7) Follow me on the first part: First the base notes: E -A -D Then the triads, and then improvisation, as you know in the scale of D.

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3 II-V-I in D tempo 100 / 2

Same as in the previous tab, but now try to experiment a bit more with the notes from the D-scale. Try to use the entire reach of the violin up to the level you are at.

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4 II-V-I in D tempo 120

If you have done tab 2 and 3 right you might want to take it to the next step, tempo 120

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5 II-V-I in D tempo 140

For the cracks, tempo 140!

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6 Satin Doll

Satin Doll by Duke Ellington, form A A B A.
This is a great study to put the II-V-I into practice.
We will see a II-V-I in C and D in the A parts.
Try to figure out the B part, (Gm7 – C7 and Am7 – D7)

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7 Satin Doll 1st improvisation

Let’s put our theory into practice, we’ll start very simple so you can get acquainted with the II-V-I.
First we’ll do the basic notes (chord roots) and then try to play the scales that belong to each II-V-I.
Follow me…

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8 Satin Doll 2nd improvisation

Now, instead of starting off with the root note of the scale, we start with one of the chord notes. (But still in the scale of the “I”).
So first start with the base note of each chord.

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9 Satin Doll 3rd improvisation

Finally we can mix things up using all we have learnt in this lesson.
Challenge yourself, play 8th notes in swing, play triplets, make nice sentences from the different scales.

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