Chord Progressions: Major: Dm7-G7-CM7

Play and listen to the overall sound...

Simply be receptive to the sound-feeling of each chord as a whole with respect to the key center.

This is a purely right brained activity. Don't try to hear individual notes yet. Just be receptive to the sound-feeling of each chord as a whole with respect to the key center.

A useful way to conceive of this progression is an as extension of a G7-C progression. The Dm7 chord (ii7) creates a tension that feeds the G7 chord (V7), which extends the tension, a tension that craves resolution which comes with the CM7 (IM7) chord, which clearly confirms the home key and major-ness of the tonality.

Create Tension
Extend Tension
Release Tension

You will find this general pattern used time and time again in many kinds of music!


Usage in Familiar Music

The ii7-V7-IM7 chord progression is a widely-used pattern in countless jazz standards. It is used in three contexts:

  1. Turnaround leading back to the tonic IM7 chord in a major key.
  2. ii7-V7 secondary dominant leading to a diatonic major chord other than the tonic.
  3. Cadence to establish a new major key center.

Play and sing out loud...

Singing out loud is a very effective way to get musical sounds into your mind’s ear. Singing is an active process that excites many sensory and memory and motor pathways in your brain. This broad-based activation leads to much faster and deeper learning than passive listening alone. Sing out loud, while associating each sound with something you already know.... notes in written music or keys on the keyboard.

Sing the bass line...

Always be sensitive to how each and every note sounds and feels with respect to the key center Do.


Sing the chords as root position arpeggios...

Very Important: It is absolutely essential that you sing all of these studies out loud and at your own pace, a pace that allows you to sustain each note long enough to make an impression on your mind's ear! If you can't sing them, you don't know them!


Sing the chords as voiced arpeggios...


Sing the "Re" voice...


Sing the "Fa" voice...

Notice the strong pull that Fa has to resolve to Mi.


Sing the "La" voice...


Sing the "Do" voice...

Notice how treating Ti as part of the tonic is so very unlike classical harmony and makes this sound jazzy.