Reharmonizing II V I – breaking all the rules!

Reharmonizing is a great way to get some fresh sounds into your song writing or arranging. Often we find ourselves looking for a new sound that we can throw in there to spice things up and surprise the listener!

In this lesson I am going to show you a way to make substitutions without really thinking about music theory and still come up with some great refreshing chord progressions.

The II V I progression

In this lesson I am going to take this II V I in G major (shown below). I am going to show you how playing the D7 in different ways can be a means of completely rethinking the chord and come up with some other sounds that will work well in it’s place.

The reasons for using a II V I in this lesson is that it is a progression that you are probably familiar with, and if we reharmonize the D7 we have a very logical movement: Am7(home) Chord X (away) Gmaj7 (home)

D7 into F#maj7 

If we take a look at the D7alt voicing below you can probably see that it is in fact a Gbmaj7(b5) with a D in the bass.

If we take the GbMaj7 (b5) and use that instead of the D7 we get this progression:

D7 -> Fm7

Below I have written out a D7alt voicing that is used is a D7(#9b5) chord. The top part of this voicing is an Fm triad. Let’s try to substitute the D7 with an Fm7.

That givs us this progression:

D7 -> Bb7 -> Bbm7

If we look at the D7 in the example below you can see that the top part of it is a 2nd inversion Bb major triad. We could try to substitute the D7 with a Bb7 chord, but since that is a bit close to Fm7, let’s make it into a Bbm7 instead!

Then we have this progression:

Use your imagination and mess around!

This way of thinking and experimenting with harmony is a great way to explore progressions and come up with things you can use in your own arrangements and songs. Figuring out how to solo over it can be a bit of a challenge though 🙂

If you want to check out the example lines for each ot the reharmonizations that I didn’t include in the video you can do so here below.

I also have a short video of me playing them.

If you want to download the examples I went over here as a pdf you can do so here:

Reharmonizing II V I – breaking all the rules!

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter: 

Download a free E-book with 15 II Valt I licks!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

Liked it? Take a second to support Me on Patreon!