~ 2 5 1 ~

~ major key ~ I / ii / V ~ minor key ~ i / ii / v

~ the 2 5 1 cadential motion ~

five shapes
Godin Multic Jazz SA guitar. Well loved and well played instrument. With flat wound strings, this is a wonderful, modern styled jazz guitar. With its built in variable sound features to combine, it can platform many ways to take the music. Frets are tall enough for blues bending with lighter strings, the mini-humbucker is higher output, better able to drive pedals and front end of signal processors. The midi option is an easy way to orchestrate any music with just six strings. With a hard shell case, this instrument has been in Alaska the last five years, and is very stable. A great daily player, while a bit on the heavier side at 9 lbs, lots of sustain and acoustic quality from the chambered body. Super important feature is the tune-a-matic bridge for intonation. Overall action is cool, flat wounds help keep it low and even. This instrument has had a wee bit of fret work over the years, as needed on the upper pitches. Full scale at 25 1/2", Strat and Tele players, who dig the Les Paul vibe but loathe the shorter scale, will slide right onto this lovely ride and keep on cruisin' right along.

 

evolutions of modern harmony ~

~ Four becomes Two ~

~ three chord types ~

~ Two / Five / One ~

~ non-resolving Two / Five cell ~

~ double 2 / 5 into 3 / 6 / 2 / 5

use saints b- e- a- d7

V7 before very chord

~ every chord becomes V7 ~

~ symmetrical cycles ~

~ a modal basis ~

~ dual arpeggiated modes and #15 ~

~ three chord types ~

~ foundational colors of cadential motion ~

~ Three / Six / Two / Five / One ~

V7 before very chord

evry chord becomes V7

'... streamlining the process of learning our harmonic spectrum of colors with basic nuts and bolts theory and movable shapes ...'

 

 

 

 

 

In a nutshell. While 2 5 1 can be found anywhere, its root motion sleekness encourages quick moves. As such, jazz. .

Essence of turnaround. A bit tongue in cheek here but like an exotic spice, the 2 5 1 spicing up of the turnaround points in our music open new possibilities to explore.

are glued together. So ontinuing our evolutions here, we being a mix and match of major and minor to create a cadential motion for the major key. Example 4d.

In a nutshell. Two / Five / One is the sleeker way we jazz things up in our music. Our most common harmonic motions with the One to Four and Five chords evolve a bit into Two / Five / One, which really is just a sleeker less cumbersome way to create the same sorts of tension and release motions in our songs. Sleeker often implies a quicker ability. And it is such here with our musics. The Two / Five motions just allow us to go faster. So jazz leaning stylewise? Absolutely. Jazz loves to go fast :)

books
go fast

A classic. Two / Five / One is the sleeker way we jazz things up in our music. Our most common harmonic motions with the One to Four and Five chords evolve a bit into Two / Five / One, which really is just a sleeker less cumbersome way to create the same sorts of tension and release motions in our songs. Sleeker often implies a quicker ability. And it is such here with our musics. The Two / Five motions just allow us to go faster. So jazz leaning stylewise? Absolutely. Jazz loves to go fast :)

books
go fast

Three chords and the truth. Two / Five / One is the sleeker way we jazz things up in our music. Our most common harmonic motions with the One to Four and Five chords evolve a bit into Two / Five / One, which really is just a sleeker less cumbersome way to create the same sorts of tension and release motions in our songs. Sleeker often implies a quicker ability. And it is such here with our musics. The Two / Five motions just allow us to go faster. So jazz leaning stylewise? Absolutely. Jazz loves to go fast :)

"Hush"
go fast

In a nutshell. Whole books and semester length courses are often dedicated to 'form in music' at the collegiate level. That said, there's a dozen or so basic terms that describe the most common of our Americana musical forms for writing our musics. Knowledge of the forms used to write music is a large part of improving one's ability as an improvisor. Much of the following discussions are pointed that in that way; that by knowing of, understanding and hearing the 'form' in our music, our ability to create improvised dialogue in whatever format, is strenghtened as we hold the sense of 'closure' that the forms in music brings.

books
closure

~ Two / Five / One ~

~ 3625 ~

'an accelerating cadential motion that knows no stylistic bounds ...'

v v
v
v
v
v
v
cadences
by ear

Two
Five
One
Four into Two
2 5 cell
cadences
songs

in Bb major from Blue in green

evolutions

1st inversion C- becomes Eb maj 7 then b7of the V chord then reolve

not maj 3rd in v7 so the b9 nine can replace the tritone ?

Three Six ...

. Know any top 10 hits written with just these three chords in one key center? Hip to "Just My Imagination" by The Temptations. Well, you can be now. Actually it's more back and forth between the One and Two, Five comes along in the bridge for a couple of bars. Sets up the return path to the main groove and theme.

~ Just My Imagination ~

~ When Sunny Gets Blue ~

In a nutshell. In the course of one's everyday musicmaking, when the cherished Four chord evolves into the 'sleeker' Two and pairs with Five as the primary go-to cadential motion, chances are we're not in the original Kansas where we started out.

Chances are that we've moved a good bit along our spectrum of musical styles; from the children's songs and folk stylings to the blues, on into country, rock and pop towards jazz. If there really is a true theory bridge that get us to another musical continent, understanding the Two Five One motion can surely be one.

Two / Five cell. Know any top 10 hits written with just these three chords in one key center? Hip to "Just My Imagination" by The Temptations. Well, you can be now. Actually it's more back and forth between the One and Two, Five comes along in the bridge for a couple of bars. Sets up the return path to the main groove and theme.

A top 10 One / Two / Five / One hit. Know any top 10 hits written with just these three chords in one key center? Hip to "Just My Imagination" by The Temptations. Well, you can be now. Actually it's more back and forth between the One and Two, Five comes along in the bridge for a couple of bars. Sets up the return path to the main groove and theme.

2 / 5 / 1 ~ built for speed. Things built for speed tend to be sleeker in shape and form. In our music theory case here, this is reflected in the bass line story and its motions. First, Four is intervalically located two and a half steps from One, so five frets. While the Two chord is separated by a just one whole step or two frets from One. Surely this closer proximity reflects a sleeker motion. As a jazz thinker here, I've already divided this whole step into two half steps, thus am thinking chromatic or motion by half step. Surely a sleeker motion Sleeker is faster.

A second idea here is how we can more 'sleekly' hint at directing the music towards a key center without actually going there through an official resolution to. Surely a jazz thing, non-resolving Two / Five motions are quite serious about generating and even accelerating energies thus sense of forward motion in the music. Of course tempo helps too but the sleeker Two is the catalyst. Did this evolution of American harmony of Four becoming Two begin a new pathway that took us within a decade or so to America's most challenging improvisational artform; bebop?

Slicing the diatonic pie. In the bebop music created through the 1940's or so, composer / saxophonist Charlie Parker wrote well in excess of 50 compositions. If we could somehow sift all this music down and place it on some sort of chromatic theory graph, I'd bet there would be zero spots left uncovered. That every nook and crany of what could occur given the times did occur. Mr. Parker covered it all and often in very very bright tempos.

So slicing the diatonic pie is simply about thinner and thinner slices. In theory there should be 24 pieces in each pie. A chromatic 12 pitches from both relative minor and major pitches and the key centers we can build upon each. It's a ton of resource. 12 ieces of the pie that cats might want to go visit during the course of a song. If the tune is going to modulate to Four anyway, the most common of our American destinations, why not just Two / Five cycle ourselves there?

Chord substitution of V7b9.

 

 

 

Two / Five / One ~ evolving Four into Two. Using our chord spelling chart, examine how easily Four evolves into Two. This theory of 'one click back' in the arpeggio makes all the difference. Example 1.

diatonic chords
I
ii
iii
IV
V
vi
vii
VIII
scale degrees
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
scale pitches
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
arpeggio degrees
.
.
.
.
.
1
3
5
arpeggio pitches
.
.
.
.
.
F
A
C
arpeggio degrees
.
.
.
.
1
3
5
7
arpeggio pitches
.
.
.
.
D
F
A
C

That's it. F A C becomes D F A C.

 

Added magic. The initial magic of this motion is generated by approaching the root of the two chord by half step. Often termed a 'half step lead in', this bit of magic helps open up the se=wing in the thing..

Backpedaling / cycle of fourths. The initial magic of this motion is generated by approaching the root of the two chord by half step. Often termed a 'half step lead in', this bit of magic helps open up the se=wing in the thing..

Rapid modulations. The initial magic of this motion is generated by approaching the root of the two chord by half step. Often termed a 'half step lead in', this bit of magic helps open up the se=wing in the thing..

Two chord voicings. In the course of one's everyday musicmaking, when the Four chord evolves into the 'sleeker' Two and paired with Five as the primary go-to cadential motion, chances are we've moved a good bit along our spectrum of musical styles; from the folk and blues, to country and rock into pop towards jazz. If there really are theory bridges that get us to other musical ground, understanding the principles of the Two Five One cadential motion can surely be one of them.

Five chord voicings. In the course of one's everyday musicmaking, when the Four chord evolves into the 'sleeker' Two and paired with Five as the primary go-to cadential motion, chances are we've moved a good bit along our spectrum of musical styles; from the folk and blues, to country and rock into pop towards jazz. If there really are theory bridges that get us to other musical ground, understanding the principles of the Two Five One cadential motion can surely be one of them.

One chord voicings. In the course of one's everyday musicmaking, when the Four chord evolves into the 'sleeker' Two and paired with Five as the primary go-to cadential motion, chances are we've moved a good bit along our spectrum of musical styles; from the folk and blues, to country and rock into pop towards jazz. If there really are theory bridges that get us to other musical ground, understanding the principles of the Two Five One cadential motion can surely be one of them.

In a nutshell. In the course of one's everyday musicmaking, when the Four chord evolves into the 'sleeker' Two and paired with Five as the primary go-to cadential motion, chances are we've moved a good bit along our spectrum of musical styles; from the folk and blues, to country and rock into pop towards jazz. If there really are theory bridges that get us to other musical ground, understanding the principles of the Two Five One cadential motion can surely be one of them.

In a nutshell. In the course of one's everyday musicmaking, when the Four chord evolves into the 'sleeker' Two and paired with Five as the primary go-to cadential motion, chances are we've moved a good bit along our spectrum of musical styles; from the folk and blues, to country and rock into pop towards jazz. If there really are theory bridges that get us to other musical ground, understanding the principles of the Two Five One cadential motion can surely be one of them.

Why so? First that there's easily 100 years worth of great music in the American library that often features this 251 chordal motion in core theory ways. So maybe a million or so tunes chock full of melodies, modulations, lyrics and time, each capturing some aspect of the era of its creation, a snapshot of other times. Second, that the story of the bass line is new and surely different than Four Five One, so there's really a whole new form to telling the stories. With the root motion now potentially in perfect fourth intervals, longer episodes of root motion backpedaling can really take hold. Third, the sleeker Two Five One opens up the discussion of chord type. This alone, depending on artistic direction, can advance our harmonic palette dramatically. And lastly, as we combine Two Five One and chord type, new voicings, ways of voice leading and chord substitution become exciting ways to create variety in shaping and energizing music's tonal gravity.

How so? The process ~ Four becomes Two. Here we find another of the 'one pitch super-evolution of the theory' magic. Simply by slipping a new root note, of Two, under the diatonic triad built on Four, creates the ii-7 chord we can pair up with the tritone within V7 to create the tension which resolves by the sounding of One. Example 1.

The learning process. Just turns out that in each of our five core shapes, hidden within each one is a rather handy Two Five One group of chord shapes. of Two Five One our basic five shapes lend us five Two Five One .

'They who conquer others are strong, those who conquer themselves are mighty.'

wiki ~ Lao Tzu

'Imperfection is in the eye of the beholder.'

?

Footnotes:

(1) Appel, Willie and Ralph T. Daniel. The Harvard Brief Dictionary Of Music. New York: Pocket Books, a Simon and Schuster Division of Gulf and Western, 1960

(2) Ottman, Robert. Elementary Harmony, Second Edition, p. 4-7. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

(3) Isacoff, Stuart. Temperament ... The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle, p. 210. U.S.A. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2001

(4) To find "middle C", sit at the middle of the piano, extend your arms outward to touch the furthest keys you can, then bend from the waist and bring your nose to gently touch the keys. The closest "C" is probably "middle C."

(5) Ottman, Robert. Advanced Harmony, Theory and Practice, Second Edition, p. 272- 298. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

(6) Ottman, Robert. Elementary Harmony, Second Edition, p. 8. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

sans le tritone: My French language version of "without a tritone."

(1) Ottman, Robert. Elementary Harmony, First Edition, p. 4. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

(2) Isacoff, Stuart. Temperament ... The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle. U.S.A. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2001. The theme of this wonderful book explores the historical struggle to conquer the process and implementation of equal temper tuning within European society. For those that need to get to the historical core of the evolution of our tuning, "Temperament" weaves a fun, fascinating and researched historical perspective.

(1) Appel, Willie and Ralph T. Daniel. The Harvard Brief Dictionary Of Music, p. 221. New York: Pocket Books, a Simon and Schuster Division of Gulf and Western, 1960.

Aebersold, James and Slone, Ken. Charlie Parker Omnibook. New York: Atlantic Music Corp., 1978. I know this is a troubling stand to take but I felt I had to and as jazz player, I based it on Charlie Parker's compositions in the Omnibook. Find a copy, count the number of tunes, then compare the number of major key to minor key songs. Any real book of popular American song, by a mix of composers, will follow along similar lines in this regard.regard.

(Y) Visit YouTube to see Johnny working his magic. In most of the clips his guitar is capo'd at the first fret or he's tuned up his ax a half step to better match his voice I'd imagine. Either way the chord voicing for "Folsom Prison Blues" is the open E as in example 2c above. The character of the tune to experienced ears, especially that bass lick moving south at the end of the phrase is clearly an open E major chord. And while there are often other ways to find the same pitches on the guitar, although that is not the case here, when we hear such a character sound as "Folsom Prison Blues", we know that there is only one way to get that sound. No other E major chord rings like the open chord E major, it's just the nature of the animal.

Modulation. true to four both major and minor liitle wing ...

musical idea goes wayback to the later 1500's to locate probably what was the top 40 hit of the 16th century. Luckily for us "Greensleeves" has not only survived but has thrived and still today is an inspirational song to so many of us.

an idea
top 40

 

In a nutshell. Thinking that the melody of a song can clearly define the emotional character of the story being told, we look here to examine ideas and create ways to to play melodies by ear. That by doing so we can build up and strengthen our own artistic abilities to interpret melodies and project our take or interpretation of a song's story line.

Overview. From the old as the hills artistic technique often termed 'a theme and its variations', an artistic concept and philosophy which also applies to many of our art disciplines; musics, sculpt, painting, writing etc., this theme and variations is the basis of so much of what American improv is about, where the music being performed is played by ear. That traditionally our musics are not being read as they are being performed.

theme and variations

~ chord type ~ 2 5 1 ~

~ 'essence of turnaround ...' ~

evolutions of modern harmony ~

~ Four becomes Two ~

~ three chord types ~

~ Two / Five / One ~

~ non-resolving Two / Five cell ~

~ double 2 / 5 into 3 / 6 / 2 / 5

use saints b- e- a- d7

V7 before very chord

~ every chord becomes V7 ~

~ symmetrical cycles ~

~ a modal basis ~

~ dual arpeggiated modes and #15 ~

~ three chord types ~

~ foundational colors of cadential motion ~

~ Three / Six / Two / Five / One ~

V7 before very chord

evry chord becomes V7

 

triads / /diatonic / non diatonic ... ?
Coltrane's evolution ~ double Two / Five
combine shapes such as F- in 1st position to blues in 6th etc.
251 where 1 is ctdim 7 / up -3 makes 5 of diatonic 5 ...
a way to practice One to ii-7 V into new key
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

.

~ chord type ~ 2 5 1 ~

~ 'essence of turnaround ...' ~

evolutions of modern harmony ~

~ Four becomes Two ~

~ three chord types ~

~ Two / Five / One ~

~ non-resolving Two / Five cell ~

~ double 2 / 5 into 3 / 6 / 2 / 5

use saints b- e- a- d7

V7 before very chord

~ every chord becomes V7 ~

~ symmetrical cycles ~

~ a modal basis ~

~ dual arpeggiated modes and #15 ~

~ three chord types ~

~ foundational colors of cadential motion ~

~ Three / Six / Two / Five / One ~

V7 before very chord

evry chord becomes V7

 

triads / /diatonic / non diatonic ... ?
Coltrane's evolution ~ double Two / Five
combine shapes such as F- in 1st position to blues in 6th etc.
251 where 1 is ctdim 7 / up -3 makes 5 of diatonic 5 ...
a way to practice One to ii-7 V into new key
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

.