Using Triads To Solo Over The ii V I Progression

MAIN TUTORIAL

INFO & EXPLANATION

UNDERSTANDING ALTERED CHORDS

The Dominant7 chord is the one chord that gives you alot of wiggle-room in your soloing. It's a given in jazz that when you see a G7 or a Bb7 or any dominant7 chord that you have the freedom to embellish it (the symbol for a dominant7 chord is simply the 7 by the chord name like A7 or B7 and it's the "5" chord found naturally in any major key). How you embellish it depends on you and a couple of easy-to-remember guidelines. Remember this:

  1. You can extend the chord to add the 9th or the 13th depending on your taste and whether or not one of those notes clashes with a melody note.
  2. You can raise or lower the 5th or the 9th of any dominant 7 chord without altering it's function. In other words you can substitute a G7b9, G7#9, G7b5 or a G7#5 (which is an augmented chord) for a G7. This is what's known as an "Altered Chord." If you're trying to stretch out in your soloing to get past the plain-Jane sound of playing major scales over jazz changes you're gonna love this lesson!

EXPLANATION OF CHORDS

3 different key areas are used in this lesson- C, Ab and Eb. The following explanation uses the key of C as the example. You can apply it to any other key area.

Looking at the graphic example below you'll see several things.

  1. The iim7 V7 Imaj7 progression in the key of C is Dm7 to G7 to Cmaj7.
  2. The triads chosen for use in building a solo line in this lesson are all major triads built on the 4th, 3rd and 5th respectively.
  3. Use the F triad over the Dm7, the E triad over the G7 and the G triad over the Cmaj7.
  4. Starting with the E triad, its notes give you the 13th, b9 and 3rd of the G7 chord. The G triad gives you the 5th, 7th and 9th of the Cmaj7 chord. The F triad gives you the 3rd, 5th and 7th of the Dm7 chord.

Triads superimposed over the iim7 V7 Imaj7 progression

LEFT HAND

Mouse over the chord charts below to reveal the major triad discussed above. Study these charts and try to make up your own solo lines based on these Chord/Triad relationships. Open the PRACTICE window to play along with the background trax to this lesson.

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PRACTICE AUDIO

NOTATION