Here Are Some 2-5-1 Chord Progressions With A Jazzy Touch

If you’ve always wanted to learn some 2-5-1 chord progressions with a jazzy touch, this lesson is for you.

A Short Note On The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

There are eight degrees in any key — whether major or minor. In the key of C major:

C is the first

D is the second

E is the third

F is the fourth

G is the fifth

A is the sixth

B is the seventh

C is the eighth

The movement of chords from one degree of the scale to another produces a chord progression.

The 2-5-1 chord progression is a product of the movement of chords from the second to the fifth, then to the first degree of the scale.

In the key of C major:

…the 2-5-1 chord progression is a product of the movement from chord 2 (which is the D minor seventh chord):

…to chord 5 (which is the G dominant seventh chord):

…then to chord 1 (which is the C major seventh chord):

2-5-1 Chord Progressions With A Jazzy Touch

One of the characteristic features of later jazz styles like the bebop is complex harmony.

Although this is not always the case, jazz musicians incorporate a variety of harmonically advanced chords to set their playing apart from other musicians.

In this segment, we’ll be learning 5 jazzy variants of the 2-5-1 chord progression.

Jazzy 2-5-1 Chord Progression #1

Chord 2 is the D minor eleventh chord:

…played with F, C, and E (on the left hand):

…and A, C, E, and G (on the right hand):

Chord 5 is the G dominant thirteenth (sharp eleventh) chord:

…played with F, B, and E (on the left hand):

…and A, C#, and E (on the right hand):

Chord 1 is the C major thirteenth chord:

…played with E, A, and D (on the left hand):

…and G, B, and D (on the right hand):

Altogether, check out this jazzy 2-5-1 chord progression…

Chord 2:

Chord 5:

Chord 1:

Jazzy 2-5-1 Chord Progression #2

Chord 2 is the D minor eleventh chord:

…played with D, G, and C (on the left hand):

…and F, A, and C (on the right hand):

Chord 5 – we’re moving chord 2 up by a half-step to the D# minor eleventh chord:

…played with D#, G#, and C# (on the left hand):

…and F#, A#, and C# (on the right hand):

Chord 1 – we’re also moving chord 5 up by a half-step to the C major thirteenth chord:

…played with E, A, and D (on the left hand):

…and G, B, and D (on the right hand):

Altogether, check out this jazzy 2-5-1 chord progression…

Chord 2:

Chord 5:

Chord 1:

Jazzy 2-5-1 Chord Progression #3

Chord 2 is the D dominant thirteenth (flat ninth) chord:

…played with F# and C (on the left hand):

…and D#, F#, and B (on the right hand):

Chord 5 is the G dominant thirteenth (sharp eleventh) chord:

…played with F, and B (on the left hand):

…and E, G#, and B (on the right hand):

Chord 1 is the C major thirteenth chord:

…played with E and A (on the left hand):

…and D, G, and C (on the right hand):

Altogether, check out this jazzy 2-5-1 chord progression…

Chord 2:

Chord 5:

Chord 1:

Jazzy 2-5-1 Chord Progression #4

Chord 2:

…is substituted with the Ab altered chord:

…played with Ab and Gb (on the left hand):

…and C, E, F#, and B (on the right hand):

Chord 5:

…is substituted with the Db major ninth chord:

…played with Db, F, and Bb (on the left hand):

…and Eb, F, Ab, and C (on the right hand):

Chord 1:

…is the C major thirteenth chord:

…played with C, E, and A (on the left hand):

…and D, G, B, and D (on the right hand):

Altogether, check out this jazzy 2-5-1 chord progression…

Chord 2:

Chord 5:

Chord 1:

Jazzy 2-5-1 Chord Progression #5

Chord 2:

…is the D dominant ninth chord:

…played with D and A (on the left hand):

…and F#, A, C, and E (on the right hand):

Chord 5:

…is the G dominant seventh (flat nine, sharp five) chord:

…played with G (on the left hand):

…and F, Ab, B, and Eb (on the right hand):

Chord 1 is the C major ninth chord:

…played with C (on the left hand):

…and E, G, B, and D (on the right hand):

Altogether, check out this jazzy 2-5-1 chord progression…

Chord 2:

Chord 5:

Chord 1:

 

Final Words

Now that you’ve learned these jazzy variations of the 2-5-1 chord progression, It’s important for you to dedicate some time to learning and practicing them in all 12 keys.

See you in the next lesson!

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Chuku Onyemachi

Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. I started teaching musicians in my neighbourhood in April 2005. Today, I'm humbled to work as a music consultant with HearandPlay Music Group for musicians in Africa and beyond.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Success Ndubuisi .O. says August 6, 2018

My Oga I love this chords oo I know slot of them but I don’t know how to apply them

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