Minor ii-V-i Progressions

Before moving on, you'll need to try a couple chord progressions using the minor chord functions just described. First, try a sample chord progression using the natural functions derived from the natural minor scale. Figure 18-3 gives you a chance to try this using arpeggios. After reading the given bass line, feel free to mix up the pattern of notes, and positions used to generate them, in an improvisatory way. Likewise, Figure 18-4 gives you the opportunity to outline chord functions in minor that use raised seventh scale degrees. Remember, when you do this, you are making the V chord major and the vii° chord diminished. (Diminished is, again, a minor triad with a flatted fifth. B-D-F is one example.) After reading the bass line provided, improvise using a mix of the broken chord notes.

Like in major keys, the ii-V-i is still an important and fundamental type chord progression. Here it often takes the form of a ii min7(5) -V7-i min(maj7). Sometimes, a dominant seventh or a major sixth may be substituted for the major sevenths on the i chord. When adding ninths, on the ii chord the ninth is often, surprisingly, major. It's surprising because the major

Figure 18-3.

Chord progression using natural minor functions

On the repeat, improvise a bass line!

Figure 18-4.

Chord progression using minor functions with raised seven

On the repeat, improvise a bass line!

ninth violates the minor third of the key itself. Nonetheless, this major ninth tends to sound consonant. However, you may also use a minor ninth (or 9) on the ii chord as well. This is especially common in scalar usage. When adding a ninth to the V chord in a minor key, it is almost always sharped or flatted. Rarely, the V chord, in this context, might take a major or natural ninth. A famous example of this rarity is in the classic Gershwin tune “Summertime” from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. As far as the i chord is concerned, if a ninth is applied, it is always a major or natural ninth.

  1. Home
  2. Bass Guitar
  3. Minor Keys and Additional Theory
  4. Minor ii-V-i Progressions
Visit other About.com sites: