Monday, June 22, 2015

5 ways of playing the 2-5-1 progression in C

Hi there

Today I want to look at 5 different ways of playing the 2-5-1 progression. This movement can be applied whenever a song is ending.

The first two ways is for the beginner without a bass player and the others are both hand chords for when playing with a bass player. Have a look at the video lesson here or continue to read for the chord breakdowns:

The movement is in the key of C so lets first look at the number system and scale:

This is on the 2 chord with left hand bass and very basic:

Then on the 5, you can play this chord:

And ending on the 1, you can play this chord:

That's it! This is very easy. Now to build on this first movement we move on to the....

The difference with this movement is just one note that gets added but you end up with a much more jazzy version of a 2-5-1. Here is the first chord on the 2:

Here you just added the E on your right hand

Now to the 5 chord. You can play the following chord:

On the 5 chord you can add a grace note making 
it sound sweeter. Refer to the video lesson to see 
how a grace note can be played if you don't 
understand it yet.

Now you end of on the 1. This is how you can play it:

This wraps up the second way of playing the 2-5-1. Now we will move on to playing the progression with both hands assuming that you are playing with a bass player.

This time, we build even further on our second movement. The first chord is on the 2, looking like this: 

I must say, I use this chord a lot when I have to play a 2 chord

Next, you play the following on the 5:

Don't forget to play that same grace note between A-B on your RH

Lastly you end on the 1 chord by playing this chord: 

That's it for the third way! Now let's build even further on this way.

The only change this time around is when you play the 5 chord. The 2 remains the same as what we've covered in the third way. So let's look at the 5 chord:

If you have to remain on the 5 for 2 bars, I want to show you 4 different chords that you can play in your RH for each quarter of the 1st bar. Here they are: 

After the 4th movement above, you end on the actual 5 chord as I started off explaining in this section.

When you go to the 1 chord, you can add a melody before you play the 1 chord, like this:

This is the same 1 chord as explained in the 3rd way

This brings us to the last way...

In this section, you will be playing something completely different. This is base on the blues jazz style. Please note that the 2 chord in this movement can be used and added to the above movements to end the 2-5-1. I just thought I want to show the entire movement, but you can change it up as you feel fit, especially based on a melody. So lets look at the 2 chord:

OK, now on the 5 chord you can move everything down (chromatically) a semi-tone, like this:

Then to end on the 1 chord, you can move everything down again, like this:

Before I wrap up this lesson, you can also add a small movement on the 2 chord in this section or when you play the 2 chord in this manner within a song. The movement is on the RH, and it moves in 3rd intervals, like this:

Please note that the movement should be implemented before you play the left hand chord and then you play an E-major arpeggio with your right hand.

That's it! I hope you've learned something new and had fun doing so! I believe this is very useful for any gospel keyboard player as it is used in lots of songs and genres.  Also, if you struggle a bit, don't forget to look at the video in the beginning of this lesson, where I've also explained all these chords.

Please feel free to comment, share and like this, if you enjoyed this lesson. 

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