It is common to read or listen to talk about progressions II VI (second - fifth - first), however doubts may arise when applying these progressions in songs and even more so if we want them to be linked.


First of all, we must know that, as the name implies, progressions II VI are structured based on the II, V and I degree of a tonality. The common thing will always be to think in progressions II VI in major tonalities, in any case there are equally progressions II VI in minor tonalities.


Let's see now the degrees of a greater tonality, in this case the key of C major, with its seven corresponding degrees:


Jazz Piano


As we see, on each one of the degrees of the tonality is a tetrad or seventh chord (remember that in jazz, blues, bossa nova, funk, etc., the basic chords are seventh chords, since the 3rd and the 7th of a chord are the most important notes as they determine their function).


As you may have noticed, the minor chords are the same as those of C major but in another order. However, in western music we are accustomed to playing the V grade as a major chord with a minor seventh (E7) to achieve a more effective resolution in the dominant - tonic process (all these topics can also be found in our Study Room , if you have doubts you can review the theoretical material that is there). This learning post has how to play jazz piano, which any body can learn with in a week.


To finish, add some notes of color to our basic chords for a better sound. These notes are usually 9th, 11th and / or 13th. We must not forget that it is not only to add color notes to our chords, it is also necessary that all your notes are correctly distributed in the registry, for this, a good choice will be to use the Drop 2 technique (check this type of technique in our article Opening voicings in both hands.


Chord progressions II VI are the most common in popular music and jazz. If you check the Real Books you will find many works with these progressions, in which you can practice these links. Some standards of Jazz that can serve you are the following: Blue bossa, Beautiful love, autumn leaves, Black Orpheus, Alice in wonderland and many more. It will be until the next meeting!