Improv with “I V vi IV” | Hub Guitar

Improv with “I V vi IV”

Introduction

In this improvisation lesson, we'll play some melodies on a Imaj7–V7–VI-7–IVmaj7 chord progression in C major.

This progression uses seventh chords, which gives the harmony a bit more color and texture.

The Chord Progression

It’s always a good idea to be able to play the chords before you begin improvising. If you haven’t yet, you can study the seventh chords in C before beginning. The chords used in the track also use a few diatonic tensions—extra notes to add even more color—but don’t worry if you haven’t learned that yet. You can just play the chords indicated below.

IVVIminIV
Cmaj7G13Amin11Fmaj7

How to Play the Chords

Materials to Use

This track is suited to the C major scale generally.

To practice accompaniment, you can play Cmaj7, G13, Amin11 and Fmaj7. Or you can just play triads: C, G, Amin, F.

C Major Scale

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c natural
f natural
c natural
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e natural
b natural
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d natural
a natural
f natural
c natural
g natural
d natural
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e natural
b natural
g natural
d natural
a natural
e natural
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Backing Track

Now let’s put it all together and play along with the track.

Exercises

  • Play the chords Cmaj7, G7, A-7, Fmaj7 along with the track.
  • If you know any other versions of these chords, try those instead.
  • Play the C major pentatonic scale along with the track, in time.
  • Develop 2-3 short melodies using the scales. Each melody should consist of 5-10 notes. Play the melodies with the track.

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