/ Am7 - - - / D7 - - - / Gmaj7 - - - / Cmaj7 - - - / F#min7b5 - - - / B7 - - - / Em - - -/
Am7 xo2o1o D7 xxo212 Gmaj7 3xooo2 Cmaj7 x32ooo F#min7b5 2x221x B7 x212o2 Em o22ooo
I've found this to be a great progression to introduce the jazzier side of music to my students. Its particularly effective when a student has a thorough grasp of the pentatonic patterns and is ready to throw in the other 2 remaining notes (the 4th and 7th intervals) of the major scale. Pentatonic works fine here but it really shines when using all the notes of the major scale.
I usually quiz my students on which scale they should use for this progression. Knowing they are accustomed to the 1st chord indicating the key, I'm not surprised when they say A minor. But Gmaj7 is the I chord in this case, at least until the B7 comes. The B7 is a brief departure from the key that I can point out to some of my students as a rule-bender and show them a few places to play a D# (the note in B7 that is not part of the G major scale) for when that chord arrives. You can certainly stay in the key of G major and have fun, but so often it is in these rule-bending moments where the most interesting things in music happen, and being savvy to that and joining the "rule-bending" party when it arrives is a big part of becoming the guitar player you want to be.
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