Lesson 4: Cycle Melody

The following chord progression in C major:  F# -7 b5, B7b9, E-7, A7, D-7, G7, Cmaj7 is found in all keys throughout the standard jazz repertoire.  This cycle is also often used as a substitution for a I – VI – ii – V progression.  I wrote this melody over this progression as it is found in the song, “Gentle Rain” (starting in bar 3 of the song).

In this use of the progression the harmonic rhythm speeds up after the initial ii V.   By learning to sing this melody and than memorize and become fluent with it in all the keys, you’ll have a wealth of melodic and harmonic material that you can break apart bar by bar and displace rhythmically ad infinitum.  At first I think it is helpful to visualize the chord that supports the melody in each bar as a way of integrating the harmonic content implied by the melody.  By singing the phrase slowly you’ll more quickly integrate the material into your playing and ear.


Lesson 4: Cycle Melody PDF

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