by Gjermund Sivertsen
I-V-I in Minor Keys Jazz Piano Lesson part 2

This article shows you how you can play the II-V-I chord progression to minor in just a few steps. In the previous article I wrote about the first method that I use when I play two five one progression to minor in ballads. If you haven’t read that article, you can read it here.

Anyway. Let’s have a look at the youtube video for this lesson:

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Here is a summary in how to play the II-V-I chord progression to minor in this way. 
The way we’re playing this chord progression to minor is the same as it would be played by Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau and many other great jazz pianists. I like to say that if they can play this chord progression, so can we. It is not really that hard to do, but it takes time to practice this in all the keys so that you know it by heart.

The two chord contains: 
The root, the 11, the flat 5, and the 7. Just as shown at the image.
(In this example, I’m playing a Dmi7(b5)

An alternative way to play this is if you start (from bottom to the top) in this sequence:
The 11, the flat 5, the 7 and then 9 at the top. See image:
The five chord contains: 
The 7, the sharp 9, the 3, and the flat 13.
(In this example, I play a G7)
The one chord contains: 
The minor 3, the 5th, the 6th and the 9th note of the scale.
(In this example, I play a Cmi)
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How to practice

Three simple steps to practice the two five one chord progression to minor: 

1. Play through all of the two five one progressions.

2. Make sure you can sing the root of the chords.
This is easy on the first chord since you are playing the root of the chord. However, on the V and I chord you don’t play the root of the chord so then it is harder to sing the root. Make sure you double check sometimes that you really are singing the root, not the bottom note of the chord.

Also: Sing the arpeggios of the voicings. For example: On the Dmi7(b5), sing the root, then the 11, then the (b5) and the 7 – and back.

3. Play together with people and play-along tracks as much as you can! I do that all the time. 
The jazz standard called Stella By Starlight is a brilliant tune to work out this principle. On the video I used the play along track from Peter Erskine. (With permission). You can buy his amazing play along track app here
(Ps: This is an affiliate link, so if you purchase his amazing app I will get a small comission from Apple, that will keep the free lessons running for the future too)