By special request this video is all about the jazz 2-5-1 chord progression in minor. You can read/watch the tutorial on the 2-5-1 chord progression in major HERE.
Jazz Theory and Chord Progressions are NOT Scary!
People hear the words “jazz theory” and immediately freak out a little. The concept of jazz theory sounds so difficult and elusive, that I think is inhibits a lot of people from trying to learn jazz piano. From a functional perspective, jazz theory isn’t any different from classical theory. We just look at things a little bit differently.
This tutorial is all about the 2-5-1 Progression in Minor. If you have already studied the 2-5-1 in Major, you will notice that they are almost identical outside a few changes.
The Melodic Minor Scale
We will be taking our chords from the Melodic Minor scale. The melodic minor scale is actually different descending than it is ascending. On the way up, the 6th and 7thare raised. On the way down, the 6th and 7th are lowered, making it revert back to the natural minor, or Aeolian scale. (Don’t worry if you don’t completely understand this! You don’t really need to know it to sound great playing in minor.)
If we were to harmonize this scale, we would borrow notes from the ascending and descending versions of the scale to come up with this.
Try playing this up the scale in a few different keys, to get a feel for how this works. Say the chord qualities while you’re at it. You’ll notice that the minor pitch material is heavier and more dissonant sounding than that of the major pitch material.
Play the melodic minor scale in a few different keys, paying attention to the difference between ascending and descending.
Play the melodic minor scale harmonized in a few different keys, saying the chord qualities as you go.
The Jazz Minor 2-5-1 Chord Progression
The jazz minor 2-5-1 progression is very similar to the jazz 2-5-1 in major. The scale degrees and chords are the same, but the chord qualities are a little bit different. Minor is a heavier tonality and requires more weight in the tension chords in order to resolve properly. Remember that since you have spent time with the 2-5-1’s in Major, this isn’t really learning a new skill, it’s actually just modifying what you already know.
This is what it looks like when it is fully notated. Notice on the G7 chord that we are adding the b9 extension and eliminating the root when playing the chord in the RH.
Practice the Jazz Minor 2-5-1!
Play the 2-5-1 Progression through the keys, saying the name of the chord qualities as you go. LH Root, RH Chord. Take your time and be as accurate and thorough as possible.
Add the LH walking bass, RH comping and try out the Ballad and Bossa Nova styles as you are able. The metronome, iRealPro and Drum Genius are all great to try out when you are ready.
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