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Thread: ii V I changes

  1. #1
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    ii V I changes

    I have recently been studying how Wes blows over ii V I using arpeggios and have found some interesting things.

    On the V it is common to hear IV M7 arp followed by a III M7 arp.
    Over the ii V change it is common to hear IV, V arpeggios, not necessarily in order or correlating with the ii and V in time.
    Sometimes you hear III M7 to III mM7 over ii V.

    Over Major ii V I:
    ii V I

    Over the ii and V
    Play (IV V) arpeggios
    They can just alternate and it really doesn't matter which
    comes first.


    Over the ii and V
    Play (III M7 III Mm7) arpeggios
    III M7 over ii and III Mm7 over V

    Over minor ii V i:

    ii------------------V---------------------i
    VI M7 (over ii) VI Mm7 (over V) III M7#5 (over i)
    IV m6 (over ii) bii7 (over V)
    IV m6 (over ii) vi m6 (over V) ( notice same chord up m3)
    vii9 (over ii) bii9 (over V) ( notice chord up m3)

    Thisis really helping me get this style into my playing, you don't need to think about these substitutions after a while you just play them like you would licks because you can 'Hear' where they fit.

    Ok, now it's your turn.
    Last edited by szulc; 08-25-2002 at 11:12 PM.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  2. #2
    Registered User d7th's Avatar
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    I don't understand anything
    It's a kind of alien language for me
    Gotta work on theory

  3. #3
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    I never really noticed this before but there seems to be a lot of moving ideas around in minor thirds talking place in jazz. It seems strange especially over cycle 4 changes. But if you study these ideas closely the substitutions make the ideas make sense.
    In a minor ii V i
    the change is commonly ii m7b5----V7#5b9----i m7
    lets look at this in A minor
    Bm7b5-----E7#5b9------------Am7
    BDFA-------EG#CDF---ACEDG

    Lets look at the subs iv m6 ------vi m6

    Dm6-------Fm6
    DFAB------FAbCD
    3579------93#57

    This give a nice altered effect on the V chord and you can spell out some arpeggio idea on the ii chord and just move it up a m3 to do it! COOL!
    This is realy helping me get this stuff into my brain!
    Anyone else out there got some cool ideas like this ?
    Moving things around in 3rds or 4ths over ii V's?
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  4. #4
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    What I use quite often is minor pentatonics going up in halfsteps.

    say II V I in C

    Dm7: play Am Pentatonic
    G7: play Bbm Pentatonic
    Cmaj7: Bm pentatonic

    This will give you a nice altered sound ending off in Lydian.

    Guni
    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  5. #5
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Re: ii V I changes

    Originally posted by szulc
    I have recently been studying how Wes blows over ii V I using arpeggios and have found some interesting things.
    ...are you getting this by looking at sheet music (and/or listening) or by listening alone?

  6. #6
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  7. #7
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Transcribing certainly helps to get a lot of ideas.

    You can also take a more mathematical approach. Say you take the C minor pentatonic and set it into relation to all 12 notes and see what sound it will produce. Then try to use the results in chord progressions and filter out what you like or don't like.

    Guni
    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  8. #8
    Central Scrutinizer
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    Hey Guni,
    do you mean like playing E pen minor over and A minor chord
    (which basically subs the 2 or 9 for the m3)
    then going a few steps futher and trying the other pens over the A minor chord. And just see what happens. Some will work and toss or alter those that don't.
    "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the correct one." William of Occam

  9. #9
    Registered User jesus's Avatar
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    Hi folks,

    There are a lot of different ways of improvising over II-V-I sequences. Just to add to those ideas
    you've mentioned I would like to list some approaches that I've collect.

    II-V-I Major. Dm-G7(alt)-Cmaj7

    1. Tonal center playing. This one is the most simple one, since we are in key of C major, just
    play C major scale focusing on guide notes of each chord, that is D dorian - G mixo. - C ionian

    2. Using altered scale on V alt. D dorian - G altered scale (superlocrian mode)- C major

    3. Using half-whole diminished scale over V alt

    4. D dorian (Dm) - Ab major scale or arp. (G7 alt)
    - C major scale

    5. Using the arpeggio of tritone subtitution on V.
    D dorian (Dm) - Db7 arp. (G7 alt) - C major scale or arp. on C major

    6. Pentatonics, in addition to Guni idea this one
    is also outside playin approach on V chord:
    E min pent (Dm)- F min pent. (G7 alt) - E min pent (Cmaj7) (Taking from Scott Henderson)

    7. Play the half-diminished arppegio on the sixth
    degree over IImin (i.e. Am7b5 arp. over Dm) and any of the above ideas over V7alt.

    II-V-I minor (Dm7b5 - G7#5 - Cm7)

    1. Arpeggios: Dm7b5 arp (Dm7b5) - G phrygian major
    arpeggio on G7#5 and C minor arp on Cm

    2. Think that II-V-I minor is equivalent to II-V-I
    major located a minor third above and use any device of II-V-I major. That is Dm7b5-G7#5-Cm7 is
    equivalent to Fm7-Bb7-Ebmaj7.

    3. F melodic minor on Dm7b5, Ab mel minor (superlocrian) on G7#5.

    4. also on G7#5 works the whole tone scale

    Allthis ideas can be mixed giving you a lot of different possibilities for improvising over II-V-I changes.

    Greetings to all

    Jesus

  10. #10
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    this is quite a nice collection.

    Thanks,

    Guni
    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  11. #11
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Re: ii V I changes

    Originally posted by szulc
    On the V it is common to hear IV M7 arp followed by a III M7 arp. Over the ii V change it is common to hear IV, V arpeggios, not necessarily in order or correlating with the ii and V in time.
    Sometimes you hear III M7 to III mM7 over ii V.
    I don't expect to learn 30 years of music in 3 months, but I sure would like to understand just a LITTLE of what you're talking about. So I picked just the chunk quoted above. I hope you can help.

    When you say 'on the V' I immediately think there's a V (chord or arp) being played...then you say it's common to hear a IV M7 arp. I'm already lost. First, when you refer to a 'ii V I' I think in terms of chord progressions--exactly THREE chords played in sequence (NOT arp'd). But I don't think that's what you're talking about.

    So, if 'on the V' you mean that "when he transitions to the V", how do you know that's what's happened, when he's arp'ing IV M7 and IIIm7"? If that's what he's doing, how do you even know there's a ii V I progression going on?

    My question may lack so much knowledge that it doesn't even make sense--I sure hope not.
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 10-17-2002 at 08:06 PM.

  12. #12
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    What I am saying here is over (meaning during the time that the backup band is playing V) the V chord of a ii V progression. Wes commonly plays lines made from a IV M7 arp followed by a III M7 arp.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  13. #13
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Okay--that makes sense. It boggles my mind that anyone could possibly know that's what's going on though. For my untrained ears and ill-formed mind, it's pure magic.

    Can you provide a reference title or two as examples? I'd like to listen, and be even more dumbfounded

    NP: West End Blues (Louis Armstrong)
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 10-17-2002 at 08:17 PM.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  14. #14
    Registered User Mesa-Maniacal's Avatar
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    Re: Re: ii V I changes

    Originally posted by Bongo Boy


    I don't expect to learn 30 years of music in 3 months, but I sure would like to understand just a LITTLE of what you're talking about. So I picked just the chunk quoted above. I hope you can help.
    I, too, am a little lost. What do I need to do to understand what you're talking about. I know my modes and so on and I think I know the best time to apply them. But, I always want to expand my knowledge. When people start talking about chord substitutions and chords with added notes, I get lost. I think I'm a pretty bright guy (or else those degrees I have just don't mean a thing, do they?) My question to Szulc or Guni or Eric V is where do I start?
    "It's all about the gravy!!"

  15. #15
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Can you provide a reference title or two as examples? I'd like to listen, and be even more dumbfounded
    Wes Coast Blues
    Missile Blues
    Yesterdays
    Moanin'
    These are the ones I remember listening to.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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