Minor Introductions & 1625s
Welcome to this tutorial on solo piano introductions for tunes in minor keys. In other lessons have explored some useful formulas that can be used to create intros for tunes in major keys. You can find links to these tutorials in the related lessons below.
"My Funny Valentine"
We will now take the tune My Funny Valentine which starts with a C-7 chord and we will explore some different techniques that we can use to create solo piano introductions.
Finishing on the V7 Chord.
Perhaps the most important aspect of an introduction is leading into the 1st chord of the tune with its V7 chord.
"My Funny Valentine" starts with a C-7 chord and so the V7 would be a G7. In minor keys, we often alter the V7 chord by adding alterations and tensions. We explore some example G7alt voicings that we can use.
Creating a 25 Progression
Every V7 chord can be approached by its ii-7 chord. In minor keys, the ii-7 chord is often played with a b5. For a 251 in C Minor, we would have D-7b5, G7alt, and C-7.
We explore some interesting voicings for this progression and how this can create a simple but effective introduction.
Adding the IV Chord
We can extend the 251 progression to create a 1625 progression. We have a few options here with the chords we choose to play. The 1 chord can be a ‘vanilla’ C-7 chord, or we can play a C-maj7 for a different minor ‘flavour’.
The VI chord can be either an Abmaj7, or an A7alt. Both are effective and create a different character to the introduction. The A7 creates a stronger sense of resolution into the the ii-7b5 chord, but the Abmaj7 chord is also a nice option for adding variety and interest to the progression.
Vamp Between The i-7 and VImaj7 chord
It can be nice to vamp between the i-7 chord and the VImaj7 chord in any minor key. These 2 chords have similarities in their associated chord scales and vamping between them creates an interesting texture for an introduction.
We vamp between these 2 chords and the inversions and when we are ready we hit the 25 progression to take us into the form.
Using the Harmony of the Tune
Often the best source of inspiration for an introduction is the tune itself. If we analyse the harmony of the first 8 bars of "My Funny Valentine" we can see that it contains all of the chords we have covered. In addition we now have an F-7. The A section also ends on a G7 chord which will lead us smoothly and convincingly into the first chord of the tune.
Minor Introductions Lesson Notation File Type: pdf
Understand the importance of the V7 chord as the final point of our introduction.
Learn and memorise a selection of V7alt voicings which can be used to end our introductions and lead us smoothly into the start of the form.
Experiment with the minor 1625 progression and its variations.
Take a minor tune in a different key and work out the voicings for a i-7 to VImaj7 vamp and the 25 progression into the first chord of the tune.
Try to create your own introductions based on the harmony of the A section. This technique can be applied to any tune with an AABA form.
- Apply the minor 1625 as a turnaround and use this to transition into an improvised solo.