Licks and Riffs: Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity

Licks & Riffs : Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity

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Jamiroquai is famous for his jazz inflected funk. In 'Virtual Insanity', he builds a chord progression around the oldest jazz trick in the book - the cycle of 5ths.

The progression is : Ebmin7 > Ab7 > Db9 > Gbmaj7 > Cdim7 > Cbmaj7 > Bb7#5

The only chord not a fifth from its neighbours is the Cbmaj7, which effectively substitutes the F-based chord which should have completed the cycle.

jamiroquai virtual insanity

Listen carefully to this progression throughout the song and you'll find something cunning going on.

For starters it's only seven bars long, instead of the usual eight, so Jamiroquai sometimes shifts the whole progression to start on a different beat of the bar - clever stuff!

Try as below with bass note preceeding right hand chord for an added effect:

jamiroquai virtual insanity

For another interesting example of the cycle of fifths, see our Norah Jones: 'Come Away With Me' riff lesson.

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