Chords Workshop
Chords Workshop
by Mark Fowler
Based mostly on:
– 2 straight-forward articles by David Hamburger in Acoustic
Guitar Magazine (August & September 2003)
• http://acousticguitar.com/lessons/Chord_Names/1.html
• http://acousticguitar.com/lessons/Chord_Names2/1.html
– What Makes Music Work, a book by P. Seyer, A. Novick, & P. Harmon
• http://www.lovemusiclovedance.com/what_makes_music_work.htm
• An amazingly simple but effective little book!!
– Chords & Progressions for Jazz and Popular Guitar, a book by Arnie Berle
– Wikipedia Entry
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_notation
Got Questions? mfowler@binghamton.edu
Get Full-Size, Full-Color Handout:
http://www.ws.binghamton.edu/fowler
(Click on “Other”)
Next
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What We’ll Cover
• Part Ia
– What notes are in the “normal” chords?
• Part Ib
– What notes are in the “weird” chords?
• Part II
– How do you play the “weird” chords?
• Part III
– When do you use the “weird” chords?
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Part Ia
What Notes Are In The
“Normal” Chords?
Next
3/44
What is a Chord?
• Three or more different notes played together
What Makes a Certain Chord?
• It depends on the “Intervals” (i.e., distance) between
the notes
What Is an Interval?
• A measure of the distance between two notes
• Interval names are based on positions in scales
– Actually, they are really based on the # of “half steps”
between the notes
Note: 2 notes a half step
apart are one fret apart
Next
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Intervals within the C Major Scale
“b7th”
(Minor 7th)
H
C
Major
7th
B
W
Bb
Major
6th
A
W
G#
Perfect
5th
G
W
F#
F
Perfect 4th
H
Minor
3rd
Major
3rd
E
W
Eb
D
W
C#
C
Major
2nd
Next
5/44
Intervals Between Strings On The Guitar
¾ 4ths
A 4th “up” is
a 5th “down”
¾ 5ths
Adjacent Strgs
¾ Maj 3rds
¾ Min 3rds
Skipped Strgs
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Triads – Simplest Chords
There are only 4 types of triads:
¾ Major
¾ Minor
R35
R b3 5
¾ Diminished
¾ Augmented
R b3 b5
R 3 #5
C
C
C
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
F
E
Eb
D
C#
C
Perfect 5th
Major 3rd
F
E
Eb
D
C#
Perfect 5th
Minor 3rd
C
These constitute about 99% of the chords
you see traditionally in a fiddle tune
F
E
Eb
D
C#
C
Flat 5th
Minor 3rd
F
E
Eb
D
C#
Sharp 5th
Major 3rd
C
We won’t be needing these!
Next
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Triads-Based Guitar Chords: An Example
C Minor
C Major
4 1 0 1 x
3 2 0 1 0
Note: In a typical Guitar
Chord-Form we often
repeat triad notes
CEGCE
R 35 R3
¾ Major
R35
C Eb G C
R b3 5 R
¾ Minor
R b3 5
C
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
F
E
Eb
D
C#
C
Perfect 5th
Major 3rd
F
E
Eb
D
C#
C
Perfect 5th
Minor 3rd
Next
8/44
Triads-Based Guitar Chords: Another Example
D Major
D Minor
0 0 1 3 2
0 0 2 3 1
In some Guitar ChordForms the triad notes don’t
appear “in order”
A D A D F#
5 R5R 3
ADADF
5 R 5 R b3
¾ Major
R35
¾ Minor
R b3 5
D
C#
C
D
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
F#
B
Bb
F
E
Eb
D
Perfect 5th
Perfect 5th
A
Major 3rd
G#
G
F#
F
E
Eb
D
Minor 3rd
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Part Ib
What Notes Are In These
“Weird” Chords?
Next
10/44
Bigger Intervals
(shown relative to C in C major scale)
C
1
D
2
E F
3 4
G A
5 6
B
7
C
8
D E F G A B C
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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Nearly-Complete Jazz Chord “Family Tree”
For Jazz Chords: sequentially add other notes to a maj/min triad
Note the main pattern: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13
b3
b7
Major Triad
Add 6
These are the
“Dominants”
Add b7
Add 7
Add 6
Add b7
Maj7
1 357
7
1 3 5 b7
m6
1
5 6
m(maj7)
1 b3 5 7
Maj6/9
13569
Maj9
13579
9
1 3 5 b7 9
m6/9
1 b3 5 6 9
m(maj9)
1 b3 5 7 9
Maj13
1 3 5 7 9 (11) 13
11
1 (3) 5 b7 9 11
13
1 3 5 b7 9 (11) 13
b3
Add bb7
Add 7
Maj6
1 356
Maj11
1 (3) 5 7 9 11
Dim Triad
Minor Triad
Notes in ( ) are
usually omitted.
It is common to
leave out other
notes too,
especially on
guitar
m7
1 5 b7
b3
dim 7
1 b3 b5 bb7
m9
5 b7 9
1
b3
1
b3
m11
5 b7 9 11
1
b3
m13
5
9 (11) 13
= 6!!
b7
Altered Chords (e.g., A7#5b9): Raise or Lower the 5, 9, 11, or 13
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Part II
How Do You Play These
“Weird” Chords?
Next
13/44
An Example
C7
C Major
3 2 0 1 0
3 2 4 1 x
C E Bb C
R 3 b7 R
CEG CE
R 35 R 3
¾ Major
R 3 5 b7
C
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
F
E
Eb
D
C#
C
Major 3rd
3 2 4 1 x
¾ Dom 7
R35
Perfect 5th
For this
form we
sacrifice
the 5th !
This now
becomes
“Movable”
D7
F
E
Eb
D
C#
C
b7th
D F# C D
R 3 b7 R
E7
Perfect 5th
3 2 4 1 x
V
Major 3rd
E G# D E
R 3 b7 R
Next
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A Structure-Based Approach:
A
AMaj7
A7
0 2 1 3 0
0 2 1 3 0
0 2 0 3 0
A E A C# E
R5 R3 5
A E G# C# E
R5 73 5
A E G C# E
R 5 b7 3 5
C
CMaj7
C7
1 2 3 4 1
1 3 2 4 1
1 3 1 4 1
Find a Root and
Keep Lowering It
Make It Movable:
III
III
CGC EG
R5 R 3 5
III
CGB EG
R5 7 3 5
C G Bb E G
R 5 b7 3 5
Next
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More Examples of that Rule:
G
Gmaj7
G7
Find a Root and
Keep Lowering It
G6
3 2 0 0 0 4
3 2 0 0 0 1
3 2 0 0 0 1
3 2 0 0 0 0
GB DGBG
R 3 5 R 3R
G B D G B F#
R 3 5 R 37
GB DGBF
R 3 5 R 3 b7
GB DGBE
R 3 5 R 36
D
Dmaj7
D7
D6
0 0 1 3 2
0 0 1 1 1
0 0 2 1 3
0 0 2 0 3
A D A D F#
5 R 5 R 3
A D A C # F#
5 R 5 7 3
A D A C F#
5 R 5 b7 3
A D A C F#
5 R 5 6 3
Next
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Another Structure-Based Rule:
G6
G
1 3 4 2 1 1
III
G7
1 3 x 2 1 1
1 3 x 2 1 1
GD
R 5
GD
R 5
Find a 5th and
Keep Raising It
III
GDGB DG
R 5R 3 5R
B EG
3 6R
B F G
3 b7 R
Or Use Our 1st Rule:
Lowering a Root
G
1
Gmaj7
4 3 2
1
III
4 2 1
III
GDGB DG
R 5R 3 5R
G7
1
2 4 3
III
G
R
F# B D
7 3 5
G6
2
1 4 3
G
R
E BD
6 3 5
III
G
R
F BD
3 5
b7
Gray Circles = notes left out to make the new
chords playable playable!!!
Next
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And More:
A
1 3 4 2 1 1
V
A E A C# E A
R 5R 3 5R
Find the Maj 3rd
and lower it
Ammaj7
Am
1 3 4 1 1 1
V
1 3 2 1 1 1
AEA C EA
R 5 R b3 5 R
2 x 1 3 3 3
1 3 1 1 1 1
V
V
Am6
Am7
A E G# C E A
R 5 7 b3 5 R
V
AEG C EA
R 5 b7 b3 5 R
A F# C E A
R 6 b3 5 R
2 x 3 3 3 3
Find a Root and
keep lowering it
V
A
R
G C EA
5R
“Certified
Jazzer’s
Form”
Next
b7 b3
18/44
Another Rule: Making the dom 9th Chord
C7
Find a Root and Raise It
3 2 4 1 x
¾ Dom 9
R 3 5 b7 9
D
C#
9th
C E Bb C
R 3 b7 R
Recall:
For this
form we
sacrificed
the 5th !
This form is movable
D9
2 1 3 3 3
IV
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Gb
b7th
F
E
Eb
D
C#
3rd
C
C9
2 1 3 4 x
C9
D F# C E A
R 3 b7 9 5
2 1 3 3 3
5th
E9
2 1 3 3 3
V
C E Bb D
R 3 b7 9
Here we
gain back
the 5th !
C E Bb D G
R 3 b7 9 5
E G# D F# B
R 3 b7 9 5
Next
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Part III
How Do You Use These
“Weird” Chords?
Next
20/44
Triads Harmonize the Scale
Choose triad type so that each chord uses only scale tones
I:G
ii:Am
iii:Bm
IV:C
V:D
vi:Em
vii:F#o
C
G
B
Bb
A
G#
G
F#
F#
A
G#
G
G
G
G
F#
F#
F#
F#
F
F
E
Eb
E
Eb
D
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
5th
3rd
D
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
F
5th
b3rd
5th
5th
E
Eb
E
Eb
E
Eb
D
C#
C
D
C#
C
D
C#
C
D
C#
C
B
Bb
B
Bb
B
Bb
B
Bb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
A
G#
G
A
G#
G
A
G#
G
A
G#
G
D
C#
C
b3rd
3rd
b5th
b3rd
F#
F
E
Eb
F
3rd
b3rd
Bb
A
G#
G
F
E
Eb
F
5th
5th
B
Next
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Typical Places to Use Jazz Chords
Recall: Number System for Chords (Example - Key of G)
I ii iii IV V vi vii
G Am Bm C
D Em F#o
Jazzy Replacements
I
Maj7, Maj6 (… in blues the I is played as Dom7)
IV
Maj7, Maj6, (… in blues the IV is played as Dom7)
V
Dom7
ii, iii, vi
min7
To see why… see next two slides…
Numbered Chords with Replacements:
I
ii
iii
IV
V
GM7 Am7 Bm7 CM7 D7
vi
Em7
vii
F#o7
Next
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Pick Extensions to Stay in Scale
Why I is either Maj7 or Maj6:
I:Gmaj7
I:Gmaj6
Why IV is either Maj7 or Maj6:
IV:Cmaj7
IV:Cmaj6
Maj 7th
B
Bb
A
G#
G
F#
Maj 7th
G
G
F#
F#
F
F
E
Eb
E
Eb
D
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
5th
3rd
D
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Maj 6th
5th
3rd
B
Bb
A
G#
5th
F
E
Eb
G
F#
Maj 6th
5th
F
3rd
E
Eb
D
D
C#
C
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
B
Bb
A
G#
G
3rd
Next
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Pick Extensions to Stay in Scale
Why the V chord is Dom7:
Why ii, iii & iv chords are min7:
ii:Am
V:D
iii:Bm
vi:Em
Eb
D
C#
b7th
C
C#
B
Bb
A
G#
5th
G#
b7th
Bb
A
G#
G
G
G
F#
F#
F#
F
F
F
b7th
3rd
E
Eb
D
E
Eb
D
D
C#
C
C#
C
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
B
Bb
A
G#
G
5th
b3rd
b7th
F#
5th
E
Eb
B
Bb
A
G#
G
B
Bb
A
G#
G
5th
b3rd
F
E
Eb
b3rd
D
C#
C
B
Bb
A
G#
G
Next
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Golden Slippers in G: Standard Progression
Let’s use our replacement rules (and a couple other
jazz ideas) to spice up the chords for this tune….
I
V
I
A Part: | G / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G / / / |
I
IV
V
I
B Part: | G / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D / / / | / / / / | G / / / | / / / / |
IV
V
I
I
|G///|////|C///|////|D///|////|////|G///|
A good place to start is with the V chords…
Next
25/44
First Step: Change V to dom7
Jazzy Replacements
I
Maj7, Maj6 (… in blues the I is played as Dom7)
IV
Maj7, Maj6, (… in blues the IV is played as Dom7)
V
Dom7
ii, iii, vi
min7
This first step doesn’t make things too jazzy
Next
26/44
Some Jazz Dom7 Chord Forms for the V in G
D7
D7
D7
1
3 2 4 1 x
1 3 1 4 1
2 4 3
This one isn’t quite
as “jazzer-approved”
as the other two
V
X
III
D F# C D
R 3 b7 R
D
R
C F# A
b7 3 5
D A C F# A
R 5 b7 3 5
A simpler form to use for now… but it
just doesn’t have that nice jazz texture:
D7
0 0 2 1 3
A D A C F#
5 R 5 b7 3
Next
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Golden Slippers in G: w/ Dom 7th on V
Could use this, for now
D7
D7
3
I
V
I
A Part: | G / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G / / / |
Could use this, for now
D7
D7
3
I
IV
V
I
B Part: | G / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G / / / | / / / / |
IV
V
I
I
| G / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G / / / |
Next
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Second Step: Change I to Maj6
Jazzy Replacements
I
Maj7, Maj6 (… in blues the I is played as Dom7)
IV
Maj7, Maj6, (… in blues the IV is played as Dom7)
V
Dom7
ii, iii, vi
min7
Changing the I chord to Maj7 makes things
very “loungy-jazzy”… not so good for
fiddle tunes.
Changing the I chord to Maj6 makes things
more “western-swingy-jazzy”
Next
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Some Jazz Maj6 Chord Forms for the I in G
G6
G6
1 3 x 2 1 1
III
2
1 4 3
G
R
E BD
6 3 5
III
GD
R 5
B EG
3 6R
Leave out the
gray circles…
they are there
only to show
where this
came from!
A simpler form to use for now… but it
just doesn’t have that nice jazz texture:
G6
3 2 0 0 0 0
GB DGBE
R 3 5 R 36
Next
30/44
Golden Slippers in G: w/ Maj 6th on I
3
G6
G6
1 3 x 2 41
3 2 0 0 00
Could use this, for now
D7
Could use this, for now
I
V
I
A Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
I
IV
V
I
B Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
IV
V
I
I
| G6 / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
Next
31/44
3rd Step: Change IV to Maj6… with a “twist”
Jazzy Replacements
I
Maj7, Maj6 (… in blues the I is played as Dom7)
IV
Maj7, Maj6, (… in blues the IV is played as Dom7)
V
Dom7
ii, iii, vi
min7
Changing the IV chord to Maj6 gives: C6 = C E G A
But… imagine re-arranging these same notes:
AECG
Hey… that is an Am7 … which is the iim7 of G!!!
Can substitute iim7 for IVmaj6!!!
Next
32/44
Some Jazz min7 Chord Forms for the ii in G
Am7
Am7
2 x 3 3 3 3
x 0 3 3 3 3
V
V
A
R
G C EA
5R
b7 b3
A G C EA
R b7 b3 5 R
A simpler form to use for now… but it
just doesn’t have that nice jazz texture:
Am7
x 0 2 0 1 0
A E G CE
R 5 b7 b3 5
Next
33/44
Golden Slippers in G: w/ ii min7th sub for IV
G6
3 2 0 0 00
for now
I
V
I
A Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
G6
for now
for now
3 2 0 0 00
Am7
Am7
2 x 3 3 33
x 0 2 0 10
D7
for now
5
I
ii7
V
I
B Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
V
I
ii7
I
| G6 / / / | / / / / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
Next
34/44
4th Step: Insert Passing Chords
For now lets forget that we substituted iim7 for IV6
Notice how in the B part we have IV = C going up to V = D:
I
IV
V
I
B Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
IV
V
I
I
| G6 / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
A cool thing would be to go chromatically up through C#!!
But what chord type??!!
Next
35/44
Dim7 Chord Forms
So… let’s take a C7 chord and move the root up to a C# but leave
everything else the same… that gives us a “passing chord” that
provides some chromatic motion:
C7
C#o7
1 3 1 4 1
1 3 1 4 1
III
III
C G Bb E G
R 5 b7 3 5
C7
C# G Bb E
R b5 bb7 b3
Everything but the
root from a C7
chord… plus the C#
C#o7
3 2 4 1 x
3 2 4 1 x
Bb
Bb
Cool Things about Dim7 Chords
1. Root can be taken as
ANY note in the chord.
2.
CE C
R 3 b7 R
C# G
E
b3 bb7 R b3
Shift it three frets and you get the
same chord again!!!
Next
36/44
Golden Slippers in G: w/ dim7 passing chords
Example #1
I
V
I
A Part: | G / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G / / / |
C#° 7
C#° 7
Could use this, for now
3
I
IV
IV#°7
I
B Part: | G / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / C#°7 / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G / / / | / / / / |
IV#°7 V
IV
I
I
| G / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / C#°7 / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G / / / |
Next
37/44
4th Step Revisited: Insert Passing Chords
But… we substituted iim7 for IV6… So our B part looks like this:
V
I
I
ii7
B Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
ii7
V
I
I
| G6 / / / | / / / / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
A cool thing would be to go chromatically up through G#!!
But what chord type??!!
G7
1
G#o7
2 4 3
III
2
1 3 1
G7
G#o7
0 0 0 2
0 1 0 2
D GBF
5 R 3 b7
Next
III
G
R
F BD
3 5
b7
38/44
Golden Slippers in G: w/ dim7 passing chords
G6
3 2 0 0 00
D7
for now
Example #2
for now
I
V
I
A Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
for now
Am7
for now
G6
3 2 0 0 00
I
G#°7
x x 0 1 02
I#°7
x 0 2 0 10
for now
D7
for now
ii7
V
I
B Part:| G6 / / / | / / G#°7 / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
ii7
V
I
|G6 / / / | / / G#°7 / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
I
I#°7
Next
39/44
5th Step: Further Jazzify the Chords
Our first step didn’t make things too jazzy
We made the V chords dom7…
Jazzy Replacements
I
Maj7, Maj6 (… in blues the I is played as Dom7)
IV
Maj7, Maj6, (… in blues the IV is played as Dom7)
V
Dom7
ii, iii, vi
min7
Now… to make things even jazzier…
use jazzy extensions: add in the 9
(& maybe 11, 13)
Next
40/44
A Jazz Dom9 Chord Forms for V in G
D9
2 1 3 3 3
IV
D F# C E A
R 3 b7 9 5
A simpler form to use for now… but it
just doesn’t have that jazz texture:
D7
0 0 2 1 0
ADAC E
5 R 5 b7 9
Next
41/44
Golden Slippers in G: w/ Dom 9th on V
G6
3 2 0 0 00
for now
D9
D9
for now
5
I
V
I
A Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
G6
3 2 0 0 00
D9
for now
D9
for now
5
I
IV
V
I
B Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
IV
V
I
I
| G6 / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
Next
42/44
Golden Slippers: “Complete”
G6
“For Now” Forms
D9
G6
3 2 0 0 00
3 2 0 0 00
I
V
I
A Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
The ii – V – I progression shows up all over in Jazz!!!
G6
3 2 0 0 00
I
G#°7
Am7
x x 0 1 02
x 0 2 0 10
I#°7
D9
G6
3 2 0 0 00
ii7
V
I
B Part:| G6 / / / | / / G#°7 / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
ii7
V
I
|G6 / / / | / / G#°7 / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
I
I#°7
Next
43/44
Golden Slippers: “Complete” “To Work On” Forms
G6
D9
G6
3
3
5
I
V
I
A Part: | G6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
The ii – V – I progression shows up all over in Jazz!!!
G6
3
G#°7
Am7
3
3
5
5
I
G6
D9
I#°7
ii7
V
I
B Part:| G6 / / / | / / G#°7 / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / | / / / / |
ii7
V
I
|G6 / / / | / / G#°7 / |Am7 / / / | / / / / | D9 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | G6 / / / |
I
I#°7
STOP 44/44
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