You can approach the creation of a jazz piano lick over a 7-3-6 or minor 2-5-1 chord progression just as you would for a 2-5-1 lick in a major key. You can use
- chord tones
- a line that moves up and down
- approaches to chord tones.
Here is an example for a lick using these elements that you can use whenever you come across a minor 2-5-1.
- The first bar consists of notes that are just moving up and down the F major (or D minor) scale, starting on the flatted fifth of the Em7b5 chord, Bb.
The F major scale
- The last Ab is an approach to the following A, which is the beginning of an arpeggiated A minor 7 chord. The line then moves down again diatonically. The bar ends with another approach.
- This time it moves to the root D of the following Dm7 chord. What follows is a small rhythmical motive with two eighth notes followed by one quarter note, moving down the diatonic scale again. The lick ends on D.
Another important chord progression in jazz is the 7-3-6 progression, featuring the diatonic chords of the seventh, third and sixth degree of the major scale. You can also look at it as a minor 2-5-1 progression in the related minor key.
In the key of F the 7-3-6 consists of Em7b5, Am7 and Dm7.
Because the 2-5-1 is used so much in jazz music, your improvisation can be a lot easier, if you know a few licks that you can play over this segment, ideally in [...]
There are many possible variations of the basic 2-5-1 chord progression using seventh chords. A common one is to play rootless ninth chords for the ii minor seventh and I major seventh chord, and a thirteenth chord for the V dominant seventh chord.