The Chord Progression ii V7 I is the most common chord progression in Western Civilization Music. This is huge!
In the key of C major the progression ii V7 I is Dm7 G7 Cmaj7
Notice the circle of 5ths movement in this series of chords.
I always teach my students, that the chord progression “ ii V7 I” is analogous to the word “ the” in the English language. It is in every song. Not just jazz either. You see the ii V7 I progression in Beethoven, Chopin and all the great classical composers. It is just harder to see in classical pieces because they typically don’t write in the chord symbol above the notes. But you can take it to the bank that these master composers knew of the strong tendency for chords to move by circle of 5ths.
Some songs are made up almost entirely of “ ii V7 I”. Some examples are:
When Sunny Get’s Blue
Some Classical pieces that use “ ii V7 I” quite a bit are:
Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb Major
Tchaikovsky’s Romeo And Juliet ( Ballet )
CPE Bach’s Solfeggietto in C minor
One of the most important drills a student can practice and conceptualize is his or her ii V7 I’s !
- Learning Triads
- Learning Leadsheets
- 4 – Note Chords (Close Position)
- 5 + Note Chords (Open Position)
- Advanced chord voicings