22 Ideas for comping over 1-6-2-5 progressions

Aebersold Vol. 16, Turnarounds, Cycles & II/V7's

Aebersold Vol. 16, Turnarounds, Cycles & II/V7's

Today I would like to offer you 22 voicings that outline a 1 6 2 5 progression (ex. Cmaj7 – Am7 – Dm7 – G7). This is perhaps the most common chord progression ever know to man/woman. This is also known as a “turnaround” and is often found in the last few measures of a song. This turnaround gives us a push to the top of the form.

Be sure to read the “things to remember” bullet points and take them to heart. Memorizing every voicing is not necessary. Play through them a bunch of times and you will begin to hear the finer details of this progression and get it in your ear. Then pick out a couple and run with them. Everything is in the key of C, so it is up to you to transpose to all the keys. Have fun!

Some things to remember when working on this material

  • Take it slow. Better to choose a couple of examples, work them in all keys, and get them into your playing, instead of trying to memorize them all. There is a lot of information here!
  • Use a metronome or backing tracks supplied at the bottom of the page.
  • Improvise into and out of the example you are working on. It helps a great deal to practice getting into and out of new material in a musical context. Integration of the material is paramount!
  • These chords are not written with rhythms. Be sure to add rhythms. Otherwise they sound boring and dead. A great source for rhythmic inspiration is:Jerry Bergonzi: Melodic Rhythms Book-Inside Improvisation Vol. 4
  • When working on a voicing, try to move it to other string groups.
  • Try comping through all keys and sticking to roughly the same position on the guitar.
  • Keep a notebook of your favorite voicings. Work out variations, mix and match. Be curious, be creative
  • Finally, practice these voicings over tunes. These are the fakebooks I use:
    The New Real Book, Volume 1
    The New Real Book, Volume 2
    The New Real Book, Volume 3

The Raw Material

1-6-2-5 Voicings Page:1

1 6 2 5 Voicings Page:1

1-6-2-5 Voicings Page:2

1-6-2-5 Voicings Page:2

1-6-2-5 Voicings Page:3

1-6-2-5 Voicings Page:3

Backing Tracks

CMajAmDmG7_1bar_200_Sw.mp3: |CMaj7|Am7|Dm7|G7| vamp. 200bpm Swing
FMajDmGmC7_1bar_150_bossa.mp3: |FMaj7|Dm7|Gm7|C7| vamp. 150bpm Bossa nova
GMajEmAmD7_2beat_85_Sw.mp3: |GMaj7 Em7|Am7 D7| vamp. 85bpm Swing
EbMajCmFmBb7_2beat_120_Sw.mp3: |E♭Maj7 Cm7|Fm7 B♭7| vamp. 120bpm Swing

Learn More

Mel Bay Mel Bay’s Complete Book of Harmony, Theory & Voicing for Guitar: I have had this book for a while now. Every time I open it I learn something new. 3 thumbs up

Mel Bay Complete Book of Harmonic Extensions for Guitar: This works in conjunction with the Complete Book of Harmony, Theory & Voicing. Great examples of the concepts. Wouldn’t think of having one without the other.

Chord Chemistry: The late great Ted Greene! His books full of information. I have had the Chord Chemistry book for at least 20 years. It is filled with treasures and I will probably be referring to it for another 20. A Classic.

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One Response to 22 Ideas for comping over 1-6-2-5 progressions

  1. mark says:

    thank you! this site is great! it’s just what i needed..

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