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Jazz Bass Soloing Pt. 2: Soloing Over the Minor 2-5-1 Chord Progression

In the previous lesson about jazz soloing, we looked at soloing over the 2 5 1 chord progression in major keys. It is just as common to come across a 2-5-1 progression in a minor key. The theory behind soloing over the chords remains the same but the chord types change. A 2-5-1 progression in C major would give us these chords – Dm7, G7, Cmaj7 where as a 2-5-1 progression in the key of C minor would commonly give us – Dm7b5, G7(b9), Cmin6. The one-chord can often be a minor 6 or a minor 7.
We can approach soloing over these chords by using chord tones:
  • Dmin7b5: D, F, Ab, C
  • G7(b9): G, B, D, F, Ab
  • Cmin6: C, Eb, G, A
Or by using the relevant scales:
  • D Lochrian – D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C
  • G Half/Whole Diminished Scale – G, Ab, Bb, B, Db, D, E, F
  • C Dorian – C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb


These are not the only options but are a good way to get started. I have included a PDF with a line that works over a minor 2-5-1 sequence. Be sure to practice it in all 12 keys!
Minor 2 5 1 Line Bass Clef jazz bass soloing john marley
Download these additional resources to go along with this week’s lesson below:

Visit John’s personal site for more  lessons, tips and information about bass guitar and his own bass guitar lesson site, Bass Guitar Course. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnmarleybass