Classic II V I – Django’s Ending Demonstrated over All of Me



Classic II V I – Django’s Ending Demonstrated over All of Me

Classic II V I – Django’s Ending Demonstrated over All of Me

Django often ends choruses in one of two ways:  using a phrase that provides closure or using a phrase that builds energy to lead into the next chorus.  Both options use diminished arpeggios.

Many choruses end with a II-V-I chord progression, but the focus here is on building solos as a composition, a story with a beginning, middle and end.
So, our focus in this lesson is on ending your chorus with a closure.

The chord progression for the chorus endings in All of Me is simply the II-V-I, Dm-G7-C.
The tools that we are going to use are the C triad (for the I chord) and the B diminished arpeggio over the G7 (the V7 chord).

When you start a diminished chord on the third degree of a dominant chord (the note B is the 3rd degree of G7), you get the 7b9 sound, which is a nice substitute that Django often uses.

Here is the phrase that I play:

As you can see, the first three notes are the C triad, the next four are the B diminished arpeggio and I resolve to the note C.

You can use this idea in many places over the fingerboard, for example:

Once you’ve learned the diminished shape all over your fingerboard, you can resolve it to other notes of the tonic chord (not only the C), for example:

This example ends on the fifth degree of C (the note G).

Here’s another example ending on C:

And the same beginning, ending on A (the 6th of C):

Same idea, starting on the 7th degree of the V7: 

Your checklist: How to master a definitive closure to your chorus:

  1. Learn the B diminished arpeggio all over your fingerboard.
  2. Play the phrase resolving to the C in various positions .
  3. Experiment with playing the phrase resolving to various notes of the C chord in different positions.
  4. Become very familiar with the different possibilities and see what sounds you like.

So, what have we learned here?

Listen to the examples here and get inspiration.  Remember to use an enclosure at the end to provide closure!
Try this over many songs.  It’ll work anywhere you have a II-V-I or V-I progression at the end of the chorus.
On the video, I demonstrate this on All of Me.

What about the other option I mentioned?

Next time, we’ll go into how to build excitement to lead into the next chorus.

That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this lesson.

Django Reinhardt is my musical father and his ingenious playing is the source of all these ideas and an endless source of inspiration, so be sure to spend time listening to him.

Please feel free to ask your questions or share your thoughts in the comments section below!

To your musical growth!,