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Chord Progressions - The I-vi-ii-V progression - part 2

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Previous page: Chord Progressions - The I-vi-ii-V progression, part 1 Next page: Pr_I-vi-ii-V-variations

If we play the I-vi-ii-V7-I change in F-major, the chords will be F-Dm-Gm-C7-F. Play on strings 4-3-2, starting with the F-shape chord, which is the root major chord in root position. Then play Dm in 1. inversion on the same strings (2nd and 3rd fret), continue to G-minor in root position, and then a C7 fragment using Dm-shape on the same strings, before you finally return to the chord you started from. This will give you the following sequence:

F-major
Root position
D-minor
1. inv
G-minor
Root
C7-fragment
F-major
Root

You can play a similar sequence on the bottom set of string. In A-major, the chord sequence is A-F#m-Bm-E7-A. It can be played like this:

A-major Root position
F#m
1. inv

 

B-minor
Root position
E7-fragment
A-major
Root position

You may use another E7 fragment that you might find easier. You will see that it is what I call the "mirror D-minor shape". But you leave out the root, and instead includes the fifth of the chord. As a matter of fact, this "E7-fragment" without the root, is a G#dim chord (VIIdim), functioning as an E7 (V7) chord.

A-major
Root position
F#m
1. inv
Bm
Root position
E7-fragment
=G#dim, 1. inv
A-major
Root position

The next example is in the key of E, with the chords E, C#m, F#m and B7.

E-major
1. inv
C#m
2. inv
F#m
1. inv
B7-fragment
=Ddim, 2. inv
E-major
Root position

You should know by now that you can move the whole sequence across to the next set of three strings, and repeat it all in A-major. I will not say anything more about that.

The middle set will also give us interesting changes. This time we will play the sequence in D-major, which gives the chords D-Bm-Em-A7-D. And again we start with first inversion, as a point of departure for our exploration. If the sequence is a the previous, the next should be Bm in 2nd inversion. You just put down your pinky on the 3rd string, fourth fret to get B, and there you are. You have probably played this as a melodic embellishment over a D chord many times. And now you know that what is happening from a harmonic perspective, is that you are changing from D to it's parallel minor chord, Bm, and maybe back to D again. If the B on the third string tend to sound like a melodic variation if it is just quick note, but it is as if the harmonic change catches up if you let the note ring a bit longer.

The following G is in root position (F-shape). You keep both the B and the G from the Bm, and just move the F# up to G. But you will probably have to change fingering.

For the A7, we once again have to make a choice. The choices are a substitution with a C#° in first inversion with an open 3rd string, or in 2nd inversion (5th and 6th fret), or a sort of "long A", with a partial barré on second fret and then fifth fret on the fourth string. I would prefer the latter, but it is a matter of your personal taste.

D-major
1. inv
Bm
2. inv
Em
1. inv
A7-fragment D-major
1. inv

Once again I leave it to you to figure out the corresponding sequence on the top three strings. I would have done that in the key of G.

The second inversion of a major chord is really nice as an "anchor" for such changes. And this time I will start at the top strings, in D. There should be no need for more explanation by now, so I just give you the sequence.

D-major

2. inv

Bm
root
Em
2. inv
A7-fragment D-major
Root position

Note how you can play around a D-chord.

A similar progression in A-major, on the middle set, is also nice:

A-major
2. inv
F#m
Root
Bm
2. inv
E7-fragment A-major
Root position

And I leave it to you to figure out what you can do on the bottom set.

Previous page: Previous page: Chord Progressions - The I-vi-ii-V progression, part 1Next page: Pr_I-vi-ii-V-variations Next page:

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