Don’t Play That II-V! (Diatonic Reharmonizations)

by | Comping, Jazz Theory

If you’re like most players, when you’re comping and come across a II-V, you likely play the prescribed changes! If you see Dm7 and G7, maybe you even play a Dm9 and a G13…But did you know that with just a basic understanding of how functional harmony works, you can re-harmonize all or most of the chords occupied by a II-V? This is a great alternative to always having to play those predictable and sometimes repetitive changes. And this can be done just using simple diatonic 7th chords!

In this lesson I show you a simple re-harmonization concept that will add a whole new dimension to your comping over dozens of standards. And while I’m at it, I also show you, “in a nutshell”, how functional harmony works!


The “Don’t Play That II-V (Diatonic Re-harmonizations)” lesson files, can be downloaded for $8.50 . Your contribution is much appreciated, as it helps support the site and allows me to keep investing the long hours required to produce these lessons. The download includes a PDF with Notation and TAB for 8 re-harmonization techniques (in 2 fingerings ) as well as the theory for each concept, and suggested standards for their application. An MP3 with a performance of each of the re-harmonized progression is also included.

For those that don’t use PayPal…when you click the button below, it will give you the option to pay with any major credit card with out the need to sign up for PayPal.  Note that you must be logged in for the payment and download links to be visible!

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  1. Greg Brown

    Great lesson Richie, loving your tutorials.

  2. Duncan Herring

    This is certainly some interesting re-harmonization material. I will definitely put these ideas to use!

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