Quiz yourself to see how well you know your 2-5-1 Progression.
Sign up for The Confident Improviser Updates
Hey guys, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge. Welcome to the confident improviser podcast. This is episode number 18. Okay, so today we are going to be going through our 251 quiz number two. So we’ve already done a 251 quiz a little bit earlier in our episodes, now we’re going to, you know, get in a little bit deeper into what we’re talking about with two five ones. As a reminder, this podcast is a companion podcast to the confident improviser program, which is found the jazz edge, you go back to jazz edge calm or the confident improviser.com for more information, okay, 251 quiz number two. So first of all, we’re going to be talking about 251 pockets. Sometimes I also refer to this as key centers, as well. So the 251 progression is very common in jazz standards. And it’s common for jazz standards to contain more than 1251 progression. So you might be in the key of C and the 251 progression is D minor, seven g7. C major, but then you might also do a 251 progression going through the four chord, as well. So it’s common to find more than 1251 progression. In a jazz standard, it’s also common to sometimes just find 251 chord progression snippets. So that means that you might just have the two and the five, and it never resolves to the one. The other thing is, you’ll also notice that you will often move in between cue centers in jazz standards, and you won’t stay in one key Center and the 251 pocket. Seeing that is really good because then you can improvise over that entire 251 progression using just one scale, which is something that confused me decades ago, when I first started to learn how to improvise, I used to think, oh, the two chord I got to play a Dorian the five chord, I need to play a Mixolydian and the one chord I need to play an Ionian scale. And the reality is Dorian Mixolydian. And Ionian is all the major scale. So if I did 251 progression in the key of C, I would have D minor seven g7, C major seven, so D minor seven g7, C major seven, that’s my 251 progression in the key of C, and then I would could just improvise using
I can improvise just using that C major scale throughout. So I don’t have to go into a Dorian into a Mixolydian or into an Ionian. And the reality is, you’ll realize that D Dorian g Mixolydian, and C Ionian guess what it’s all the same notes of the C major scale. Anyway. Now for those of you that happen to be looking at the video rendition of this podcast, you see that what I have up in front of you here is your diatonic seventh chords. And what we’re doing here is we are analyzing this 251 progression, you’ll see that there is a bracket in between or below, I should say, the D minor seven to G seven. So we have D minor, seven g7. There’s a bracket that’s going underneath that two, five progression, and then there’s an arrow resolving to the one chord. That’s typically how we would analyze a 251 progression in our music. Alright, so let’s go through the quiz here, we got five different chords to try and find. Okay, and I have some good news at the end of this session that I’ll share with you. All right, so let’s start with this first one. So we have D minor seven, a blank, and C major seven. So the question is, what is the blank? Remember, if we have a two, a five and a one, the two chord is going to be minor, the five chord is going to be dominant, the one chord is going to be major. Now let’s just stop there for one quick second. Does the 251 progression always have to be minor than two dominant than two major? No, no, you can have some alterations in there, you might have a 251 and minor. So it might go to minor seven flat 557, flat 921 minor, you could even have a 251 going to like a dominant chord like D minor seven to G seven to C seven, right? So it’s not your typical 251. But you could do stuff like that as well. Alright, so anyway, right now we’re just talking about our typical 251 progression, which is a minor chord to a dominant chord to a major seventh chord. So here we have D minor seven, blank, then C major seven. So it’s D minor seven, what’s the next chord that should be coming and then get into C major. If you answered g7, you are correct. D minor seven g7. C major seven. So D minor seven is the two chord. g seven is the five chord. C major seven is the one chord. All right, let’s move on to the next one. G minor seven, C seven.
Then blank. So here if you’re not recognizing this already watch it. Let’s go back for a second. In the previous example, D minor seven, blank, C major seven, we were trying to find what the two chord, the five chord or the one chord. Which one were we trying to find there? In D minor seven, blank, C major seven. What chord? Are we trying to find? The two? The five or the one? If you answered the five, you’re absolutely correct. Okay, so we were trying to find the five chord here we have G minor, seven to C seven to blank. So here we’re trying to find what chord we’re trying to find the one chord.
G minor seven, C seven.
And then what?
So if you answered F major seven, you’re absolutely correct, right? So G minor, seven, C seven, then to F major seven. G minor seven is the two chord, C seven is the five, F major seventh is the one chord. All right, let’s move on to number three. So we start with blank, then f seven, then B flat major seven. So what are we trying to find the two, the five or the one? We’re trying to find the two. All right, so what is that chord that leads me to C seven, and then leads me to B flat major seven, it is what? C minor seven, C minor seven, f seven, then B flat major seven, C minor seven, f seven, B flat major seven. And here I’m playing the C minor seven and root position, the F seven in second inversion, the B flat major in root position. Now when practicing these, it’s always a great idea, especially if you’re away from the piano, spell the notes of the chord C minor seven is what it is.
C, E flat, G, B flat, F, seven,
F, A, C, E flat, and B flat seven is what? B flat D, F, A. Okay, let’s move on to number four, F minor seven, to B flat seven. To blank, what is the blank, we’re trying to find what we’re trying to find the one chord so F minor seven, to B flat seven to A flat major seven. Now, start to see the correlation here, between these different chords, you know, the two chord is just a whole step up from the one chord. So if I already know F minor seven, right? If I’m trying to find one, I just go down a whole step, what’s a whole step down from F? It is F, E flat, right? So E flat is a whole step down. Okay, so E flat major seventh. And finally, the last one, here’s a good one for you. A minor seven, E flat 721. E flat minor, seventh is a two chord, a flat seven is the five and we are trying to get to the one chord, which is what it is D flat major. So you answered that. Very, very good. Okay. So, real short today, just doing a real quick 251 quiz. You can challenge yourself and practice this stuff away from the piano. One great way of doing it is just throw up a letter. Okay, whatever letter you want. Okay? Hey, all right. Let me start with that a minor seven, a minor seven. What’s the two chord? Five would be what? D seven. One would be what? G major seven. Now, I said a minor seven. What if I change that to a seven? So now a seven becomes the five chord. So then that would be a minor seven, a seven, D major seventh? What if I change that to a major seventh? Well, that’s the one chord right? So I’d have B minor seven, e seven, a major seven. Okay, so you see how I could take that one letter, change the quality of the chord from major, minor or dominant, and then I could try and figure out my two, my five and my one from there. Now, the good news is there’s going to be an interactive quiz coming very, very soon. So just be sure to pay attention to the podcast and I’ll give you the link for that interactive quiz once it is ready. Alright, so that’s it for me. Thank you guys for joining me. Remember, every other Thursday, I do my q&a session for the confident improviser. If you’re not a member of jazz edge, and you want to learn how to improvise, the confident improviser is the place to be students love it. It is a step by step approach to learn improvisation, even if you’ve never tried to improvise before, right? It literally starts from the bare bone basics. And there are inspiration lessons in there as well for those of you that kind of might already know a little bit about improvisation and you want to challenge yourself. So it works for absolute beginners, and then goes all the way up to players that already know how to improvise. We start with a jazz and blues sensibility. But as we move along, we’re going to be moving into other styles as well. Alright, so that’s it for me. Thanks, guys. I’ll see you in the next lesson.