2 November 2009

I-IV-V Chord Progression Guitar Lesson

The I-IV-V chord progression is probably the most common in popular music. It is the basis of the blues progression and is also used in many rock, pop, folk and country songs. In this lesson we'll take a look at some example I-IV-V chord progressions that use easy open guitar chords.

The I, IV and V chords in the major key are all major chords. In the following examples you'll become familiar with the sound of these major chords in D major, G major, A major and C major keys. You'll also get the opportunity to practice the chord changes using beginner guitar open chord positions.

The examples use a slash to denote each strum and use only a simple four strum rhythm pattern so you can focus on the chord changes of each progression.

Examples in Key of D Major

   D         G         D         A
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


   A         G         D         D
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


Examples in Key of G Major
   G         C         D         G
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


   G         D         C         G
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


Examples in Key of A Major
   A         E         D         A
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


   A         D         A   E     A
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


Examples in Key of C Major
   C         F         G         F
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


   C         G         F         G
||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||


Conclusion

Knowledge of widely used I-IV-V chord patterns helps you to learn to play songs on your guitar. When you know how to play and recognize progressions based on these chords you will be able to easily play many songs and develop your ability to recognize them by ear.

This lesson has shown you eight examples of I-IV-V chord progressions to practice. When you've mastered these progressions have some fun as you make up some more of your own. Remember that you can play with the rhythm patterns and timing as well as the order of the chords.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

i am a little confused with the chord pro.....if you have tabs to a certain song it has the chords inserted that you play in that song !!!!why is it necc to learn chord pro when they are already added ???...or am i missing something ???..
thank you..

Gary Fletcher said...

Hi, thanks for your question. There are several good reasons to learn about chord progressions, too long to go into detail here, but in summary:

1. You can memorize and play large numbers of songs more easily.

2. You can learn new songs more easily.

3. You can change the key of a song to suit a singer or the chords you know.

4. You can learn to make up your own songs.

In summary, knowledge of progressions will help you become a better musician. Of course, the choice is up to you. If you're happy to play the chords written on the sheet in front of you then that's fine. Not everybody is aiming to be a great musician.

Regards,
Gary

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