What Is A 2 5 1 & How Do I Play Over It??

In music, one of the most prominent chord progressions (especially in jazz) is the 2 5 1.

You get a major one and a minor one and this lesson will show you what you need to learn to improvise over them.

It's not just jazz bass playing that uses the progression; you can use it in many different styles.

The two backing tracks for this lesson are found in this lesson. Click the link to download them (scroll to locate the minor and major 2 5 1 backing tracks):

How to Use Modes: A Guide For Bass Players

Use This Bass Technique Exercise!

This is one of the most useful things you can possibly learn. It's a fantastic technical exercise as well as outlining the seven different chords from a major key.

These arpeggios are then used in bass lines (of any style).

Learn it inside out.

To Practise...

Memorise the exercise above.

Number each arpeggio one to seven (the last one - Cmaj7 - is a repeat of the first). 

On a major ii V I (musicians use Roman numerals - uppercase for major and lowercase for minor), you can play the Dm7 (ii) G7 (V) and Cmaj7 (I).

Play this in all twelve keys.

Practise using the backing track.

Make sure to study these lessons too:

The Only 4 Arpeggios You Need To Play (Most) Jazz Standards

Bass Guitar Music Theory: The 7 Arpeggios From C Major

How To Analyse Jazz Standard Harmony

Jazz Standards, Walking Bass & Chart Reading (Autumn Leaves)

Learn A Simple Walking Jazz Bassline

Related Bass Guitar Lessons

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