Clark JM Jazz Mandolin
Tips & Tricks Mel Bay Mandolin Sessions








Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

ii V7 I Major Patterns
Exercises to develop tactile patterns based on the ii V7 I Progression.

The pattern gets your fingers to retain tactile memory, practicing in 8 measure phrases: "ii V7" three times, "I" twice!

Here's what we are looking to do in tackling the rest of the exercise below:

NO OPEN STRINGS. The concept is to develop movable, tactile "home bases" up and down the fretboard in the FFcP system. (With Bb as your tonic, the 2nd finger is home base on your 4th string.)

OBSERVE THE BEGINNING NOTE OF EACH PATTERN. With the exception of a couple colorful chromatic passing tones, the exercise intentionally starts with a specific Chord Tone, the first, second (meas 22) or third (meas 40) progressively. Teach your fingers as well as your brain where the harmonic function is, and it will free you to improvise between those notes as you develop. (Also it will keep you from ALWAYS starting on a Chord Root all the time, a distinguishing mark of less mature players.

Start slowly; accuracy first. Speed later!

TRY IT IN 3 OTHER KEYS. The starting position is based on the 2nd FFcP pattern. Try it as printed, but easily transpose it in the keys of B, F, and F# simply by moving it up a fret and/or string. (See FFcP.) Same fingering!

PLAY AS EIGHT MEASURE PATTERNS. Drill the 'ii V7' into your fingers three times, and give the 7th and 8th measures a time to rest your brain.

PRACTICE AS SWING, AS WELL AS STRAIGHT 8THS. This helps you develop the swing "feel." (Hint: try using a metronome, but set the clicks for beats 2 and 4.)

LATER: Learn the patterns in other keys, starting on the other three FFcP patterns for all 12 keys. (It might help to write it out)

Hear it (mp3)! Major 'ii V7 I' 2nd FFcP

Click thumbnail to enlarge.   Now, jam to it! Special thanks to Mando Buddy, Andy Sicard for generating the accompaniment MIDI Band-in-the-Byte rendition!
Click thumbnail to enlarge. NO OPEN STRINGS. The concept is to develop movable, tactile "home bases" up and down the fretboard using the FFcP approach.
Click thumbnail to enlarge. LATER: Learn the patterns in other keys, starting on other fingers. Note this exercise is in base on the 2nd FFcP with Bb (tonic) on the 2nd finger.
Want to try this in Minor Mode?

Take it with you:
Check out our Free Downloads Page! Get a printable version of this and other helpful exercises.

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