How to solo over one of the most important turnarounds in music

Josh Smith
(Image credit: Harry Herd/Redferns)

In this lesson, we’re looking at a chord progression that occurs in countless pop, jazz and blues tunes – the I-VI-II-V  turnaround, a device that’s often used to end a verse and set up a return to the start of the next. 

Sometimes this progression will be used as an intro or vamp to solo over, and we’ll start by looking at the scales. In its simplest form, this progression is diatonic to the home key, meaning that all the notes from the chords come from the parent scale (here C Major).

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Andy G Jones

A professional guitarist for many years, Andy G Jones has played with Van Morrison, James Ingram, Lamont Dozier, Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor), Robben Ford, Billy Cobham, John Illsley (Dire Straits), KT Tunstall, Albert Lee (featured on Andy's upcoming CD), Mike Finnigan, Dave Landreth and Ryan Voth from The Bros. Landreth, Malford Milligan, The BBC Radio Big Band, Patti Austin, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Lalo Schifrin (Hollywood film composer Bullitt, Mission Impossible), Hank Marvin, James Dean Bradfield (the Manic Street Preachers), Grady Tate, Agnetha from ABBA, Cliff Richard, Dudley Moore, Nathan James (Inglorious), Joey Tempest (Europe) and Kelsey Grammar.