Understanding Jazz Harmony - Part One

Analysis of the II V I Progression:

The chord movement known as the; "two," "five," "one," is by far the most popular jazz chord movement out there. Most of the jazz standards contain this cycle of chords. It's popularity is on the same level as the 12-Bar Blues set of chord changes.

To fully understand this concept we must develop a firm grasp of the notes found in each chord and how they operate reflecting the strength of the resolution from the "two," to the, "four," and finally to the home chord, (the, "one").

Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio discusses this chord movement strategy in detail in this first video on the chord movement of the popular, "II," "V," "I," jazz chord progression.

An excellent book I would highly recommend on this topic is; "The Jazz Theory Book," by Mark Levine. It is a solid resource for all improvising musicians regardless of instrument or stylistic direction.


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