The most-used 4-chord progression of all time: The I, vi, ii, V progression


1x1.trans The most used 4 chord progression of all time: The I, vi, ii, V progression 1x1.trans The most used 4 chord progression of all time: The I, vi, ii, V progression Share/Bookmark
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

The most-used 4-chord progression of all time: The I, vi, ii, V progression

One of the most familiar of all chord progressions is the I, vi, ii, V progression. I played it when I was a kid, and you probably did too. It is used in literally hundreds of different songs in a variety of ways. Watch this short video about it:

If you would like to follow along, here is a transcript of the video:

Good morning this is Duane and today I would like to start talking about chord progressions. We’ve covered all the major minor diminished augmented six, seventh major seventh, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth chords. We learnt a little bit about music form and so on. I think we are ready to start talking about chord progressions. Chord progression is simply the way chords typically move, here is a chord progression. Does that sound typical? No you don’t hear that sound very often. It could happen, any composer can do anything they want but it’s not a very typical chord progression.

Here is another one. Again not very typical how about this? Wow that sounds familiar. The reason it sounds familiar is because that far and away is the most used chord progression of all time. Because it’s based on the first degree of the scale [Duane playing]. In other words the 1 chord and the 4 chord and the 5 chord [Duane playing]. They are the only major chords in a diatonic scale any other chord are [Duane playing] minor, diminished, okay. They are the only major chords in the key of C. In the key of C the only major chord is [Duane playing] C, F and G so naturally they are the ones that would occur the most.

Do they have to? Of course not. Like I said any composer can do anything he wants. If you put all of the songs ever written in a computer, in a blender and figure out what the most common chord progression is you would find that far and far away. There is literally thousands you can play with just those three chords in that chord progression from [Duane playing] 1 to 4 to 5. Because every note of the C scale [Duane playing] fits in one or more of those chords doesn’t it. In other words C [Duane playing] fits in the C chord but it also fits in F chord [Duane playing].

D fits in [Duane playing] the G chord. E [Duane playing] fits in the C chord. F [Duane playing] fits in the F chord. G [Duane playing] fits in both the G chord and the C chord. A [Duane playing] fits in the F chord. B [Duane playing] fits in the G chord and C fits in the C chord and the F chord. Every note of the scale fits in to one of those three chords. Naturally the most used chord progression of all time is simply 1, 4, 5. Now I may go 1, 5, 1 [Duane playing] sometimes or 1, 4, 1 [Duane playing] sometimes but you are going to see those three chords used repeatedly.

If that’s true in the key of C, it’s also true in every other key. Let me just play a simple … Like I said there is thousands of songs you can play in the key of C with those three chords. In other words that chord progression. Here is just one [Duane playing]. Just those three chords, lets do it in the key of D flat [Duane playing]. The scale of D flat goes like that [Duane playing]. If 1 chord is D flat [Duane playing], if 4 chord is G flat [Duane playing] and 5 chord is A flat. In the key of D, the 1 chord is D [Duane playing], the 4 chord is G [Duane playing] and the 5 chord is A [Duane playing]. If you are playing in the key of D [Duane playing] the three most likely chords are D, G and A [Duane playing].

The chord progression that’s going to be used the most are those three. In the key of E flat, that’s E flat scale [Duane playing], the 1 chord is E flat [Duane playing], the 4 chord is A flat [Duane playing], the 5 chord is B flat [Duane playing]. If you are playing in the key B flat [Duane playing]. If you are in the key of E the 1 chord is E [Duane playing], the 4 chord is A [Duane playing] and the five chord is B [Duane playing]. If you are in the key of F its 1, 4, 5 [Duane playing] If you are in the key of G its 1, 4, 5 [Duane playing]. I’m doing this rapidly because of the length of the time I have but you’ll have to take it slowly and work out each key.

In the key of A flat its 1, 4, 5 [Duane playing]. In the key of A 1, 4, 5 [Duane playing]. In the key of B flat 1, 4, 5. Lots of blues are in [Duane playing] the key of B flat. The blues of course is built just around the 1, 4, 5 progression. It’s the [inaudible 0:05:13] chord progression the most logical chord progression of all. Finally the key B, the 1 chord is B most logical chord progression the 4 chord is A most logical chord progression and the 5 chord is F sharp most logical chord progression. The most likely chord progression of all time is 1, 4 and 5. If you want to master one chord progression master that one because that’s the one that’s going to occur in the most possible songs.

There is many other chord progressions and we are going to cover a few of them in the lessons to come. You ought to for sure memorize this chord progression and preferably do it in all keys. At least the keys you want to play in. Okay that’s it for today and we’ll see you again tomorrow with another piano tip. Bye, bye for now.

And here is the same video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKUnSC7WuBE

Here is a Wikipedia article on chord progressions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chord_progressions

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Now please click on the photo-ad below. Thanks!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Tags:

Comments are closed.