TrueFire's Guitar Blog

90 Majorly Juicy Ways to Play a ii-V-I Progression

Eureka! If you play or are learning to play jazz guitar, you’ve just stumbled on a map to the motherlode. The 2-5-1 progression is to jazz what the 1-4-5 progression is to rock and blues and is found in practically every tune in the jazz standard songbook. Given that jazz guitarists spend 90% of their time comping with the rhythm section to support vocalists and other soloists.

The 2-5-1 progression (ii-V-I) is found in thousands of jazz standards and jazz guitarists players need to develop a big vocabulary of 2-5-1 substitutions to call on while they’re comping. Frank Vignola to the rescue!

Frank’s 30 Juicy 2-5-1 Substitutions passes on 30 tasty 2-5-1 chord and substitution options and he gives you three ways to play each of those substitutions netting out to 90 majorly “juicy” ways to play a 2-5-1.

Here’s a few to get you started…

Am7 – D7(#9) – Gmaj7(add2): Overview

Am7 – D7(#9) – Gmaj7(add2): Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this substitution on TrueFire.

Am7 – D7(#9) – Gmaj7(add2): Breakdown


Am9 Am7 – D13 D7(b9) – Gmaj7 G6: Overview

Am9 Am7 – D13 D7(b9) – Gmaj7 G6: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this substitution on TrueFire.

Am9 Am7 – D13 D7(b9) – Gmaj7 G6: Breakdown


Using Open Strings: Overview

Using Open Strings: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this substitution on TrueFire.

Using Open Strings: Breakdown


Chord Clusters: Overview

Chord Clusters: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this substitution on TrueFire.

Chord Clusters: Playalong


For the full course featuring even more chord substitutions for a 2-5-1 progression, make sure to head on over to TrueFire. There you’ll get the remaining juicy substitutions along with the tab, notation, and jam tracks for each. Check it out!