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Jazz Licks Over I-VI-II-V Progression

by Matt-Simon | 23 June 2012

In this lesson are some licks to give examples of playing over a 1 6 2 5 progression, in this case in the key of C.

Normally this would be:

C, Am, Dm, G7

But the 6 chord is often changed to a dominant, as the C# from the A7 chord adds extra possibilities for chromatic shifts.  So here it is

C, A7, Dm, G7

Ideally you want to be highlighting chord tones, and using a semitone (1 fret) transition between the chords. This serves to follow the chords with the smoothest connection between them.   Playing long streams of eighth notes isn’t necessarily hugely creative, but it is an important step to go through in the learning process.  Also, it will teach you solid timing and how to groove with a shuffle feel. In bar 12, the second lick is the same shape as the first half; this is another thing you can do to mix things up a bit. The notes still fit round the chord so it works very well in this case.  The last couple of bars have something different in it, just for a bit of variety and to really catch the ear.

Any questions, feel free to ask on the forum!

Matt

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