Tip Of The Day

The   II  V  I   progression is of course the most common succession of any three chords in contemporary music. Earlier we discussed the progression in terms of minor keys with the promise we would visit it again in more detail. Please recall: locrian, diminished whole tone, minor, as typical scales used over ii minor7 b5, V7 alt, I minor….If you are looking for a much richer sonority over this progression, consider the following:

Let’s use C minor as a model - Dm7b5 / G7alt / Cm.….. For Dm7b5, try Eb major scale as well as w/ b6 (B natural -enharmonic); for G7alt, try B Lydian/ Mix Lydian (fifth mode of the diminished whole tone); and then for C minor just use all you know about the minor I.…..Let’s go back to the altered dominant (the V chord); my friend, Mr. Lacy has a couple more favorite options: try using the harmonic minor scale built on the I chord; he also likes to build and invert major triads built on the major 3rd of the I chord, that is play inversions of the E major triad over G7 in the key of C minor!!! Also try Eb major chord tones. In fact, experiment with all upper structure triads.