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14) Chord Progressions (part I)


[Post #14] This is the first post on chord progressions with 3 or more chords, that are the most used chord progression in music. There are several ways to classify this sequences (strong, modal etc.), I think that this could make confusion in this blog, as this post it not for professional composers. This is the reason why I prefer to make a list of them.
Please keep in mind followings:


  1. it is impossible to make a complete list, even if I make dozen of examples some progressions will always miss;
  2. before reading you should be aware of the meaning of chords and inversions;
  3. for each chords you can add seventh, fourth, ninth etc. Sometimes I also make such examples but the choice depends only on you;
  4. The chord are written with Roman numerals. That means that in C major instead of C-D-E-F-G-A-B I write I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII. If the chord is minor it will be followed by a small m (someone writes the Roman numerals with small letters).
1) Progression I - V - VIm - IV 
Here two examples with different inversions.

This is my piano recording of this progression:


This progression is one of the most used in music, just take a look at following video:



2) Progression I - VIm - IV - I
Here two examples.

This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:


Here you find a video with a composition of mine based on this sequence.


3) Progression I - VIm - IV - V
Similar to the one before but the fourth chord is the V scale degree instead of the I.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:


Here you find a video with a composition of mine based on this sequence.


4) Progression Im - VI - IVm - Im
As the progression 2) buy in minor key. Here I also make 2 examples.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



5) Progressione Im - VI - IVm - V
As the progression 3) buy in minor key. Here again 2 examples. You can decide if to play or not the note in red.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



6) Progression Im - VI - IVm - V
A the one before with a change on the fourth chord (the ninth instead of the seventh).
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



7) Progression VI - VII - Im
This is not a I - II - III sequence because we play in Em key. Our third chord (Em) is for this reason our first scale degree.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



8) Progression VI - VII - Im - VII 
Similar to the one before but with a change on the fourth chord.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



9) Progression VI - VII - Im - III
Similar to the one before but with a change on the fourth chord.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



10) Progression V - IV - I
This is not a I - II - IV sequence because we play in A major. For this reason our last chord (A) is our first scale degree.

This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:




11) Progression Im - VII - IVm
Two examples with different inversions.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:




12) Progression Vm - IVm - Im
Similar to the one before but the second chord is a minor one. This is not a progression Im - VIIm - IVm because we play now in A minor. For this reason A is our first scale degree.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



13) Progression IV - I - V
Here two different examples.
These are two piano recordings that show you this progression:





14) Progression I - IV - V - I 
15) Progression I - V - IV - I
The difference between these progressions is the order of the second and third chord. In my audio file I play the sequence I - IV - V - I first. The final loop shows you the sequence I - V - IV - I.
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



16) Progression I - IV - V 
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:



17) Progression IV - V - I
As the two before, this progression is used very often. At the moment the lest one that used it (that I remember) is James Morrison in the chorus of "I Won't Let You Go".
This is my piano recording that shows you this progression:


Generally keep in mind that you can always make a chord progression choosing your order of I, IV and V scale degree chord. Other examples are:
I - IV - I - V
I - V - IV
I - V - IV - V
and so on.


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14) Chord Progressions (part I) Reviewed by Guy Grand on Monday, May 21, 2012 Rating: 5

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