Two, Five, One… are we counting silly now?

This post is an in-depth look at a major ii-V-I chord progression, and how to create chord voicings that move more smoothly from chord to chord than the typical “block” chord shapes most of us learn early on in guitar lessons. Instead of just showing you a handful of voicings, I’ve taken the time to explain how these chord voicings connect in the hopes that it will help you learn how to come up with voicings on your own.

The dilemma with learning chord voicings is that if you order one of those typical big Mel Bay (or other) chord encyclopedias, you wind up with page after page of chord voicings that generally are not in any way connected to one another, but instead organized by root note. It’s unfortunate to have to search through hundreds of pages to find the next chord that makes for good voice leading from the first!

I’ll soon be offering a variety of PDF worksheet lessons wherein you’ll learn a variety of interesting ways (beyond the usual “block chords”) for voice leading through typical chord progressions like ii-V-I, IV7-V7-I7, vi-ii-V-I, etc. When you get these under your fingers, and more importantly, into your ear, you’ll improve your rhythm guitar playing (comping) chops AND improve your visualization of the fretboard which leads you to better improvisations. Of course, our Chord & Harmony Guide DVDs are the perfect way to get started learning harmony (disk 1) and explore more advanced concepts such as substitutions, harmonizing melodies, quartal harmony, etc. (disk 2).

For now, get a cool beverage and sit back for a summertime lesson in voice leading through a major 2-5-1