For each chord in the II-V-I progression there are MANY possible scales choices. But the purpose of this article is to help you learn the most essential scales.
Because of this, I will only give you the most common jazz guitar scales used….
The II Chord:
Three incredibly common jazz guitar scales that can be used over this chord include…
- Dorian Mode: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
- Minor Pentatonic: 1 b3 4 5 b7
- Minor Blues Scale: 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
So, using our example progression, if we were soloing over the Dmin7 chord we could use one of the three following scales…
- D Dorian: D E F G A B C
- D Minor Pentatonic: D F G A C
- D Minor Blues Scale: D F G Ab A C
I recommend learning D Dorian first. Once it is mastered, then feel free to learn the other two scales.
The V Chord:
Some common scales that you could use over the V chord include…
- Mixolydian Mode: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
- Lydian Dominant: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7
- Bebop Scale: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7
- Half-Whole Diminished: 1 b2 #2 3 #4 5 6 b7
- Altered Scale: 1 b2 #2 3 b5 #5 b7
Using our example chord progression, over the Gdom7 chord you could use…
- G Mixolydian: G A B C D E F
- G Lydian Dominant: G A B C# D E F
- G Bebop Scale: G A B C D E F F#
- G Half-Whole Diminished: G Ab A# B C# D E F
- G Altered Scale: G Ab A# B Db D# F
I highly recommend learning G Mixolydian first. It sounds a bit bland compared to the other scales. But you have to run before you can walk!
The I Chord:
Probably the three most common scales used over this chord are…
- Major: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- Major Pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6
- Lydian Mode: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
If we use the example chord progression, over the Cmaj7 chord we could use…
- C Major: C D E F G A B
- C Major Pentatonic: C D E G A
- C Lydian Mode: C D E F# G A B
I recommend learning the C Major scale first.
Jazz Guitar Scales Suddenly Become Less Daunting
Notice that we have done a three step process:
- We have chosen a common jazz chord progression.
- We have listed all the common jazz guitar scales that would work over each chord in the progression.
- We have chosen ONE scale for each chord.
This approach really helps you to organize your jazz guitar scale practice. It also makes the task of learning scales a whole heap less intimidating! Rather than thinking you have to learn a billion scales, suddenly you have only a few to learn. Once you’ve mastered those “bread-and-butter” scales you can then move onto the other ones.
extract from GuitarMaster Coaching
texte .doc here: Jazz Guitar Scales Used Over The II-V-I progression