What Are The Common 4 Chord Progressions

What Are The Common 4 Chord Progressions?

We’ll uncover the core common 4 chord progressions in music!

Let’s explore the pieces that form these patterns. These progressions use four chords in different orders to make a catchy and unforgettable melody.

Here are some popular examples:

Prog.Chord 1Chord 2Chord 3Chord 4
vi-IV-I-VA minorFCG
I-V-vi-IVCGA minorF

Some musicians even alter or combine two unrelated progressions to make something fresh. Knowing these structures helps you write songs that people will love.

Research says the most famous pop hits usually contain simple chord progressions like the ones mentioned above.

Let’s go – get ready for those awesome, familiar chord progressions!

Common 4 chord progressions

To explore four common chord progressions with I-IV-V, I-V-vi-IV, ii-V-I, and I-vi-IV-V, so that you can understand the fundamental structures of popular songs. Discover how to use these progressions to create catchy melodies and powerful harmonies, no matter what instrument you play.

I-IV-V Progression

The I-IV-V Progression is an essential technique that musicians use to create memorable melodies. It involves using the tonic (I), subdominant (IV), and dominant (V) chords in a sequence.

Check out the examples below:

ChordExample Song
I“Let it Be” by The Beatles
IV“Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses
V“Piano Man” by Billy Joel

Musicians have developed variations to keep it fresh. Adding seventh notes or suspending one traditional harmony can help create new sounds.

Surprisingly, the I-IV-V Progression was derived from West African rhythms in the 1920s. It grew in popularity during rock and roll music in the 1950s and is still being used today.

Chord progressions provide composers with the power to make unique sounds and connect with their audience.

I-V-vi-IV Progression

This chord sequence is widely used in different music genres. It’s the primary I, IV, V, vi progression, but with a different starting point. This involves chords starting from the first one (I), going to the fifth one (V), then the sixth (vi), and finally the fourth one (IV).

It’s full of emotion, great for songwriters, and has been used in popular tunes like “Let it Be” and “Don’t Stop Believing”. Incorporating creative twists, like combining different variations, can make your song stand out. Rehearsing and exploring progressions leads to musical inventions.

To add something unique, play around with the rhythms when moving through the chords. It’ll create a melody that captures your listener. Also, try alternative inversions for texture and complexity. To do this, you need skill and practice.

Why have a significant other when the ii-V-I progression can meet your musical desires?

ii-V-I Progression

A ii-V-I sequence is an important chord progression in music. It moves from the second degree of a scale to its fifth, then resolves on the first note. This creates a sense of tension and resolution. It’s popular in jazz and other genres.

Take a look at the table below:

KeyC ChordsD ChordsEb ChordsG Chords

Column 1: Chords in each key.
Column 2: Chord degree (ii for second, V for fifth, I for first).
Column 3: Roman numerals indicating major or minor tonality.

You can alter this pattern with substitutions or additions. Try switching keys to add variety. Also, experiment with rhythm and dynamics. Playing certain chords harder or softer will help create a desired effect.

Practicing this progression will help you hone your musical intuition and composition skills. So, why settle for a couch when you can have a I-vi-IV-V progression to lounge on?

I-vi-IV-V Progression

The I-vi-IV-V progression is a popular music composition strategy. It is found in many genres, such as Pop, Country and more.

Below is a table listing the 4 chords and their details.

Roman NumeralChord NameScale DegreeNotes

Notable songs have used this pattern, e.g., Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

You can use the I-vi-IV-V progression to make your music grab attention. Unlock its secrets for a musical edge!

How to use and identify these progressions

To use and identify the common 4 chord progressions, with examples of famous songs that use these progressions and tips for creating original songs using these progressions.

Examples of famous songs that use these progressions

The harmonic progressions we discussed? Famous musicians have used them to create some of the biggest hits around! Here’s a list: “Let it Be” by The Beatles, “Someone Like You” by Adele, “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.

These songs show us how to use harmonic progressions to make beautiful and captivating music. Plus, other elements make these songs so successful, like awesome lyrics, catchy hooks, and skillful instrumentation.

It is important to know that harmonic progressions have been used in popular music for a long time. There are iconic songs from different eras that use these progressions. An example is the Blues genre, where the I-IV-V progression was a trademark of Robert Johnson and BB King.

These progressions are still used today, showing their power to create great melodies and make existing ones legendary. So, get creative and create your own song using harmonic progressions as your tool!

Tips for creating original songs using these progressions

Crafting original music? Here’s what to do!

  1. Identify chords and rhythms that fit your genre.
  2. Then experiment with voicings for each progression.
  3. Make unconventional arrangements or timing structures.
  4. Merge multiple progressions into one song.
  5. Transpose each progression to different keys.
  6. Engage your audience with unique melodic phrases and lyrics.
  7. Analyze popular songs that follow these progressions.
  8. Use progressions as a foundation.
  9. Listen with fresh ears to modify or discard parts of your work.
  10. Practice to perfect your outcomes.

Just four chords can make all the difference in your campfire sing-along!


4 chord progressions are incredibly versatile and important for music. They’re commonly used by musicians worldwide to create structures we enjoy. This combination of simple chords and complex music genres has stood the test of time.

From classical composers to pop stars, everyone uses this concept. Its chameleon-like quality is perfect for any genre, giving more freedom to artists. Four-chord progressions offer a framework that’s easy to grasp and recognize as part of popular culture.

Incorporating them into music allows for lots of opportunities to be creative. Despite how basic they are, these progressions can add vibrancy to a song’s movement.

Understanding four-chord progressions is key if you’re a musician or music lover. It’ll help you appreciate songs even more!

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The most common 4 chord progressions used in popular music are I-IV-V, ii-V-I, vi-IV-I-V, and I-V-vi-IV.

2. What do the symbols I, IV, V, ii, vi, and IV stand for in music theory?

A: These symbols represent the scale degrees of a major key. I represent the tonic or first degree, IV represents the subdominant or fourth degree, V represents the dominant or fifth degree, ii represents the supertonic or second degree, vi represents the submediant or sixth degree, and IV represents the mediant or third degree.

3. Can you use common 4 chord progressions in any genre of music?

A: Yes, common 4 chord progressions can be used in any genre of music. They are used in pop, rock, country, jazz, and many other genres.

4. Is it necessary to use all four chords of a progression in a song?

A: No, it is not necessary to use all four chords of a progression in a song. Oftentimes, only two or three chords from a progression are used in a song.

5. Can I create my own 4 chord progression?

A: Yes, you can create your own 4 chord progression using the chord progressions rules and guidelines of music theory.

6. What is the purpose of using a 4 chord progression in songwriting?

A: The purpose of using a 4 chord progression in songwriting is to create a catchy and memorable melody by using chords that sound good together. It also allows for variation and interest within a song.




Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *