This week’s IROCKU Piano Tip looks at the ii-V-I chord progression with Extended Chord Voicings. The ii-V-I chord progression is one of the most common progressions in modern music, particularly jazz. This chord pattern is useful in turn-arounds or whenever you are looking to resolve to the I chord. In this video we highlight one specific ii-V-I piano pattern with Extended Chord Voicings that minimizes hand movements, making it useful for accompaniment.
The video begins by teaching the diatonic chords related to the key (in this video we use the key of C) and shows how the ii-V-I triads are derived. We teach how to color the chords by extending the triads to include 7ths, 9ths, and 13ths in their root position. We then teach these three extended chords in different positions to efficiently move from chord to chord. There’s a lot of theory to digest in this pattern of three extended chords which would be difficult to re-create in an improvisational setting. So instead of re-thinking through the theory every time you perform this progression we show how to learn the ‘shape’ of the chord patterns. Thinking in shapes and intervals is a different approach to learning and performing that should make it much easier to re-create this classic jazz sound in any key. Enjoy!
IROCKU Piano Tips cover piano techniques and fundamentals, improvisation, rhythm and groove, progressions, rhythm patterns, piano accompaniment, music theory and riffs.
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Thank you for your question. The irocku team discussed your question and all felt that the best way to internalize these chords and progressions is by truly understanding the theory of how to build them in each key. When you are jamming or improvising with others, the way to respond to the chord changes will be by training your mind to rebuild the chords on the fly… In the words of Cary Brown, our musical director; ‘play with your mind, not your fingers’.
This Irocku tips covers the very important ii – V – I progression. It would be very nice to have a PDF of these in all the keys with voicings close to one another in order to minimize hand movements. I know it’s a big task.