Improvisation Example

Two-five-one Bebop type chord progression

This section introduces songs written to explore improvisation concepts. This example is from the song Song for Sonny and shows how to practice substitution arpeggios on a two-five-one progression.

The 
first
 eight
 bars 
of
 Song
for
Sonny 
involve 
no
 less 
than 
three
 key
 changes 
(á
la
Coltrane’s
 in/famous
 Giant
 Steps). It
 starts 
out with 
ii
 V
 I
 in
 C
Major,
 followed
 by 
the
 same
 in
 Bb
Major 
and
 G
Major
before 
an 
A13 
chord 
in
 bar 
8 
brings
 it
 back 
to
 C
Major.
 This
 section
 uses 
the
 substitution arpeggio 
from
 respectively
 the
 major
 and 
minor
3 rd
(remember: 
IIIm7
 on 
the 
IMaj7, IIIm7b5
 on
 the 
I7 
and 
bIIMaj7
 on 
the
 Imin7).
Every
 phrase 
is
based 
on
 this 
substitution arpeggio
. The 
result
 is
 not
 an 
exciting
”solo”,
but
 a
 good
 work‐out
 to 
familiarize 
yourself with
how 
chords 
and 
arpeggios 
connect.
 By 
playing 
from
 any 
note
 of 
the
 arpeggio,
 you learn 
how
 to
 visualize
 it
 on 
the
 neck.

Song for Sonny by Bo Vibe

sofs1

 jazz-improvisation-substitution-arpeggios

sfs2

Download the guitar e-book for the full song!

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