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 ||: / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :||
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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