Matt Warnock Guitar

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Jazz Guitar Chord Progressions 1 - Drop 2 ii V I 1

One of the most commonly used chord progressions in jazz, the ii V I VI group of chords is one that every jazz guitarist needs to master in order to be able to convincingly and correctly comp over their favorite tunes.

Though we work on memorizing important chord shapes such as Drop 2 and Drop 3 voicings, we often end up jumping around the neck when it comes time to apply them to a practical, musical situation.

In today's lesson we'll be looking at ways you can apply Drop 2 chords to a major key ii V I VI chord progression, while using voice-leading techniques in order to keep the minimum amount of movement between each chord as you possibly can.

This will not only get these important chord shapes under your fingers, but it will allow you to smoothly and easily apply them to the commonly used major ii V I progression.

Drop 2 ii V I Chords 1

The first example contains the following inversions for each chord change.

Dm7 - Root
G7 - 2nd Inversion
Cmaj7 - Root
A7b9(C#dim7) - Root

[ilink-tab-1]

Here is jazz chord progression #1

Drop 2 ii V I Chords 2

The second example contains the following inversions for each chord change.

Dm7 - 1st inversion
G7 - 3rd Inversion
Cmaj7 - 1st Inversion
A7b9(C#dim7) - 1st inversion

[ilink-tab-2]

Here is jazz chord progression #2

Drop 2 ii V I Chords 3

The third example contains the following inversions for each chord change.

Dm7 - 2nd Inversion
G7 - Root
Cmaj7 - 2nd Inversion
A7b9(C#dim7) - 2nd inversion

[ilink-tab-3]

Here is jazz chord progression #3

Drop 2 ii V I Chords 4

The fourth example contains the following inversions for each chord change.

Dm7 - 3rd Inversion
G7 - 1st Inversion
Cmaj7 - 3rd Inversion
A7b9(C#dim7) - 3rd inversion

[ilink-tab-4]

Here is jazz chord progression #4

[Edit - licks and Tab are on the following screens, not on a separate page.]

How to Practice Drop 2 Progressions

* Practice each example in 12 keys
* Use different rhythmic patterns for each example such as the Charleston, Bossa Nova or Salsa patterns
* Practice each example together in each key, starting with the iim7 root grouping and moving up to the iim7 3rd inversion grouping
* Practice each example at different tempos from 40 Bpm to 250 and beyond if possible
* Practice comping through tunes you know and applying any/all of these examples to the ii-V-I-VI chords that occur in these tunes
* Sing the root note for each chord as you play through the various inversions of the ii V I VI progression in different keys around the neck