Watch the I-VI-II-V Progression online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Jazz Guitar 10: Advanced Soloing Approaches

Lesson Source: Larry Carlton's 335 Improv


Playing over a chord progression that's familiar to the ear will always be well received by the audience, and you'll likely feel more comfortable in your comping and soloing if the chord changes are already burned into your memory. Such is the case with the classic I-vi-ii-V progression, reminiscent of all that great music from the '50s and '60s. In this section, we'll be working with that progression in my own tune, "Terry T."



Of course, a familiar sound can also be kind of humdrum unless you give it some personality. Check the notation to see the chords I chose for this I-vi-ii-V in Db, and then follow me through a variety of alternate voicings and substitutions (e.g., adding 13's and 9's, turning a min7 to min9, finding close-voiced clusters) to use while comping.