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Updates about this web page.


Hey Shredders,

This is part 2 of this series.  In the first part, we discussed the I IV V progression.  Today  we discuss it’s cousin – the ii V.

The ii V progression is used a lot in jazz.  Because of that, you often see it using the “7th” chord variations.  I’ll explain that.

In the key of C, we have:

1     2      3      4      5      6      7

C     D     E      F      G      A     B

So our I, IV, V  (from last lesson) would be:

C major        F major  G major

These are the three major triads in a major key.  The chord built off the one (C) is major, the chord build off the 4th note (F) is major and the chord build off the 5th note (G) is major.

The 2 chord (ii) is D.  It is minor.  In fact, the 2 (ii), 3 (iii), and 6 (vi) are all minor.  D minor, E minor, and A minor.  The 7th chord (vii) is diminished (that’s a separate lesson!).

Above I called the ii V chord a “cousin” of the I, IV, V.  To see why we need to know what notes are in the chords themselves.

Chords are build in 3rds.  That means you start on a note (1), skip a note (the 2nd) and go to the following note (3rd).

1     2      3      4      5      6      7

C     D     E      F      G      A     B

So I highlighted C (1), E (3), and then the next third up G (5).  If you play any C major chord – open string or bar, you’ll find these three, and only these three, notes in that chord.

This 1-3-5 formula applies to all notes in the key.  So the IV chord is F-A-C:

1     2      3      4      5      6      7      8 or 1

C     D     E      F      G      A     B      C

This is where some students get confused.  “But C is one (1, or I) in the key of C!  How can F be one??”

If you think of a family, your Mom or Dad could be C.  D, E, F and so one would be children.  So C is the parent to those notes.

But that also means the child notes have a relationship to the other notes.   They are siblings.  When F has a relationship to A, we count F as 1 and A as the 3rd up from F.  C then is a third up from A.

If this is confusing, think of it this way :

When we build a chord off a note – any note – that first note is ONE.

Once you get comfortable with that notion, if we get back to our ii V progression, D minor to G, let’s take a look at the notes in D minor, again looking as D as 1 since we are building a chord off it:

1     2      3      4      5      6      7

C     D     E      F      G      A     B

The notes D, F, A are the notes that make up a D minor chord.

The notes F, A, and C made up F Major.  So D minor can be substituted for F major in many places.  They both have the notes F and A in them.

Not only is the ii V used in jazz a lot, it’s also the basis for the song Evil Ways by Santana.

The 7th 

So above it is stated the 1-3-5 is the formula for a chord.  If we continued that pattern, the next note in the series would be 7.  1-3-5-7.  Are those really used?  The answer is an astounding yes!  In hard rock not so much, but all over the place in jazz, folk, ballads, etc.

So if we made D minor a D minor 7 in our ii V progression, we would have:

1     2      3      4      5      6      7      8 or 1

C     D     E      F      G      A     B      C

D-F-A-C.  What did F Major have?  F-A-C.  So now with D minor 7 we have all the notes of an F major but with a more “jazzy” feel, which is used also in latin and samba music.

ii V often progress to a I chord.  D minor 7 to F major to C Major.  I’ve had many assignments based off of this chord progression.

So we have I, IV, V for a more rock or blues feel.  ii, V for a jazz, ballad or folk feel.

Next lesson will point out yet another well used variation on these chords.


Welcome to Fast Fingers Guitar Lessons

It’s taken months to get this site back online, but it’s up!  This site is a combination of web lessons and a chance to sign up with in home guitar lessons of nearly any style.  Feel free to poke around and read some of the older blogs I’ve posted – subjects include lessons, music theory, how to practice, managing being in a band, and much more.

If you’re looking for drum lessons or know someone who is, check out http://ryanonthedrums.com  as well.


We Have Moved

Hey folks –

it’s been some time since my last blog. I’ve undergone shoulder surgery (not the rotator cuff or I probably wouldn’t be typing this right now) and have been healing, resting, and physical therapy. This should address some pain I’d been having playing acoustic guitar and any activity where I had to lift my arms above my head.
So I have gone nearly all of July without working. That is strange for me – I’ve never taken more than a week off for vacation and I took 3 weeks off in between jobs, but never this long.
One of things that has been on my TODO list for a while is to redesign my website. My old website was very basic. It had my bio, it had some pics of me, it had guitar lesson rates, and other details, a place where I could imbed youtube videos of me playing and giving lessons, and a blog page- but it wasn’t really a blog page. It was a cut and past of what I wrote here on blogger.com and then a link back here.
Well anybody who knows web sites knows that people hate to leave the original site they were on. I wanted a website where I could drop in nifty gadgets like a calendar without too much difficulty and note where I’m playing next. Play videos and blog.
Well, with my time off, I began to read a lot about wordpress. It can do everything I mention above – and it’s all about the blog. I think having the blog be the first thing people see is a good idea. The blog is where content is going to change the most, and you get to see it first.
So I installed wordpress on my site, upgraded to the latest software, got the database set up, and migrated all the blog entries here (comment included) over to my website.
One of the things I’m excited about is I can categorize my blog entries. If you’re just interested in lessons, that’s a category. If you’re just interested in my band experience, that’s another category. This is way cool since I like to write about a wide variety of things.
The site still has a long way to go – I need to change the basic template and add all the content that was in my old website, but I figure I’m about half way there.
I hope you come and check it out. I will be able to see comments more easily there too – I noticed when I migrated the entries over last night there were some comments I never saw. That’s too bad. I would like to encourage more dialog in the future.
So check it out, see what you think, give me feedback.