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HomeLJS Podcast3 Ways to Spice Up Your Minor 2-5-1 Playing

3 Ways to Spice Up Your Minor 2-5-1 Playing

Welcome to episode 286 where today I talk about 3 different ways to spice up minor 2-5-1 chord progressions. Minor 2-5-1s can be found everywhere in jazz standards, so how do we make our comping, bass lines, and improv more interesting over them? I give several different ways we can utilize harmonic movement in our favor.

Listen to episode 286

Minor 2-5-1 chord progressions are found all over the place in jazz standards, and so you’ll be able to navigate them with relative ease.

But how can we spice them up? How can we make them sound interesting when we improvise or walk bass lines or comp over top of these chord progressions?

Well, that’s exactly what we are going to talk about today in today’s episode. We are going to talk about 3 different ways we can spice up minor 2-5-1 chord progressions.

In this episode:

1. 1. i-bI7-tritone sub of ii-i

2. i-IV7-tritone sub of ii-i

3. i-IV7-II7-tritone sub ov V-i

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1. LJS Inner Circle Membership

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Yes John. Kind of threw of the lesson. I just kept thinking of it as the trying sub of 6 chord. Which then makes sense fir a common turnaround 1-6-2 5-1
    Had to really not think about him calling it a 4 chord all the time. No biggy. Just a brain fart. Because you can’t be a beginner and understand thst lesson anyway.


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