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Chord progressions

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Youngspanion, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. In Bass Guitar Magazine, issue 11 Jeff Berlin gives a lesson of two separate lines of bass lines bassed on the II, V, I progression. I know of the I, IV, V in blues. Are there any more set progressions or are they just thrown together?
  2. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    The II - V - I is a very common progression in jazz. There are thousands of "set" progressions. The I - V - VI - IV is another one that is very common in popular music.

    Many people here will be able to asnwer your question much more completely than I can. You might also want to try a search on the subject.
  3. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Here's a the quick quick

    Chords that are harmonized from a key fall into three categories. Tonic, intermediate, and Dominant.

    I is the tonic iii, vi have tonic function

    ii, IV are intermediate

    V is the Dominant, vii has dominant function

    In the case of the blues
    I - tonic
    IV - intermediate
    V - Dominant

    in case of ii-V-I


    In the most simplistic sense tunes start at tonic, move to intermediate, then to Dominant then back to tonic.

    This is the most generic, broad stroke explamation of this. It takes years to have a real firm unerstanding of theory and how to and abuse it.
  4. nypiano


    Feb 10, 2003
    This is similar to the other thread on chord resolution. You should look there on the general chord progression comments.

    II-V-Is are part of the general theoretical principle that the strongest root progressions are by perfect 4th up (or perfect 5th down) or half step down (ie II-bII-I). Then after that motion by half step up, P4th down (the plagal cadence or ellision), then whole step motion up or down (passing chords) then all others.

    The II-V-I could be considered a piece of the large cycle of the “diatonic” cycle of 4ths. For example Cmaj7 Fmaj7 B-7b5 E-7 A-7 D-7 G7 Cmaj7 is the whole cycle. The II V I being the last 3. However other “chunks” can cut in.

    I –VI-II-V for example which is really the same as III-VI-II-V (the last 4)

    Another chunk could be this cycle:
    Cmaj7 Fmaj7/ E-7 A-7/ D-7 G7/ Cmaj7
    This is like the final progression of “Another You”. It can be applied to many tunes. You see both the half step motion (between the F and E) and the motion by 4th in this

    This progression is similar to above but the D-7 is either considered a passing chord or a sub for fmaj:
    Cmaj D-/E- A7/D-7 G7/Cmaj

    It also speaks to the previous post about the intermediate quality of II and IV as well as the tonic sub qualitiies of III.

    The overall notion being that in order to create a key center you have to create motion to and from the key centers with the use of intermediate harmony, the dominant cadence and the tonic harmony as the "large signposts" within a tune or a progression as mentioned previously.