ii-V Vamp Songs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Quinn Roberts, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Recently I've started giving lessons to someone and today we went over a ii-V progression using Santana's "Oye Como Va". This was supposed to be an example of how a ii shares the same function as a IV chord. I was able to get the idea of the progression across and I think he picked up on it. I was hoping to have him play along with the song and try out different chord tones and patterns he could use but he wasn't able to really pick up on the latin-based rhythm that accompanies the song (something I plan to work on with him since he mentioned an interest in this kind of music before).

    Since he's more comfortable playing rock, southern, blues, etc. I was hoping I could get some examples of a ii-V vamp in a more straightforward rock arrangement (even jazz-rock/fusion).

  2. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Not sure if this’ll do what you need, but the chorus of Crescent City…
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  3. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    The ii-V in, for example, “Oye Como Va” is arguably a i-IV but I do sometimes think in terms of this progression as being ii-V.

    You could check out:

    “Spooky” by Classics IV
    “The Ghetto” by Donny Hathaway
    “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle (mostly i-IV)
    Whousedtoplay and Quinn Roberts like this.
  4. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    ii-V progressions come in (at least two flavors).

    The ii V I , resolving to a major 1 chord (possibly a maj 7). Very , very common in Jazz.

    The ii V i resolving to a minor chord. Typically, the ii is a m7b5 and V is a Vb9. There is a reason for this, shown below:

    What's a Half-Diminished Chord (m7b5)
    By Stef Ramin On 2017-04-07 0 comments
    This guitar lesson explains what is m7b5 chord, how to play it on guitar and how to apply it in common harmonic contexts as major and minor II-V-I progressions.

    What is a Half-diminished Chord?
    Minor 7 flat 5 chord is close to a diminished 7th chord, the first 3 notes are identical, but the 4th is different. This chord can be written in two ways: m7b5 or Ø. If you do not know how to play and what is a diminished 7th chord, you can read this page about diminished chord voicings.

    As is it shown in the chart below, the half-diminished chord is built with a root (1), a minor third (b3), a flat fifth (b5) and a minor 7th (b7). The diminished 7th chord has a diminished 7th instead of the minor seventh. This is the only difference between these two chords.

    Half-diminished 7th chord 1 b3 b5 b7
    Diminished 7th chord 1 b3 b5 bb7

    You can find the half-diminished chord in a number of harmonized scales. For example the 7th degree of the major scale, the 2nd degree of the harmonic minor scale and the 6th and 7th degree of the melodic minor scale.

    The major harmonized scale
    When you harmonize in thirds the degree VII of the major scale you obtain a m7b5 chord.

    Degrees I II III IV V VI VII
    C major scale C D E F G A B
    Quadrad chords CMaj7 D-7 E-7 FMaj7 G7 A-7 B-7b5

    The harmonic minor harmonized scale
    When you harmonize in thirds the degree II of the harmonic minor scale you get a m7b5 chord.

    Degrees I II III IV V VI VII
    C Harmonic minor scale C D Eb F G Ab B
    Quadrad chords C-maj7 D-7b5 EbMaj7#5 Fm7 G7 AbMaj7 Bdim7

    The melodic minor harmonized scale
    When you harmonize in thirds the degrees VI and VII of the major scale you obtain two m7b5 chords.

    Degrees I II III IV V VI VII
    C Harmonic minor scale C D Eb F G A B
    Quadrad chords C-maj7 D-7 EbMaj7#5 F7 G7 A-7b5 B-7b5 View attachment 4483548 View attachment 4483548
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  5. Thanks for the examples guys, these should work great!

    That's interesting to hear; I considered that at one point when I was explaining it to him. I was going over the modes at the same time to though and I was using the key of G as base reference point. I figured it'd be a good segue into the function of a minor chord based off the second scale degree.
    CallMeAl and bass12 like this.
  6. Just a quick update to the list of songs in this thread so I don't forget them.

    Searching the web for song examples was surprisingly barren (even when I widened my search beyond rock music). I did come up with Bill Withers' "Use Me" though, and part of "The Great Gig In The Sky" (Pink Floyd) uses a ii-V vamp between Gm and C7. Another one I came up with (one that should have come to me sooner) was Billy Cobham's "Red Baron" as I play that one with a group of buddies.
    bass12 likes this.
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