How to solo over a 2 – 5 – 1 (part 1)

There is never one “correct” way to solo over a chord progression.

There are however lots of different ways to solo over any chord or chord progression.  This is great because different musicians will have different techniques and styles and flavours.  However it can makes things complicated and many beginners ask where do I start!!!!!!

There is also a big emphasis on soloing over the 2 – 5 – 1 due to it cropping up in Jazz music constantly.  it appears in almost all Jazz standards.  This will be a short series split into very manageable chunks looking at how we can use different approaches tot tackling the 2 – 5 -1.

Today we will be using…………Arpeggios.  And more specifically a system called the arpeggiator system which is great for practice.  More on that later.

First up the chord progression in a 2 -5-1 in the key of C major is as follows

2 -5-1 lesson

What we can do to really “highlight” each chord is use arpeggios.  Using arpeggios stops us just playing a scale up and down and also matches with the notes of the chords.  Please also know there is absolutely nothing wrong with using scales to solo and it is essential but we will look at this technique next lesson.

2 - 5- 1 arpeggios

Learn your arpeggios to the point you know them off by heart without looking at the sheet.

The next step is to play through each arpeggio over a backing track (of which you can find many on youtube) and once the backing track changes chords you need to change to the nearest note in the next arpeggio and carry on playing in the direction you were playing.

This way of playing really helps bring out the characteristics of each chord as you will be playing The root, 3rd, fifth or 7th note of each chord.

It also helps you visually see the important notes when using your scales so you can combine arpeggios with scales.

I will attach a video to help with this lesson soon and remember to take it slow

see you soon





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