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Uncle Bob's Guitar Lessons
Lesson 4 - Basic Chord Progressions
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Common Chord Progressions

OK - now that we've seen how to make chords, let's do something with them.

The 1-4-5  or I-IV-V Pattern

If you will recall from earlier lessons, in the key of G you have G Major, A Minor, B Minor, C Major, D Major, E Minor, and F# Diminished. For ease, these are often notated as...

Triad Chord Shorthand Notation
1st G Major G I
2nd A Minor Am ii
3rd B Minor Bm iii
4th C Major C IV
5th D Major D V
6th E Minor Em vi
7th F# Dim. F#dim vii°

You'll notice that the major chords have capital Roman numerals, and the minor chords have lowercase Roman numerals. If you play just the I-IV-V chords in any key, you make up the bulk of all popular music in the Western hemisphere. (Really.)

The 1-6-4-5  or I-vi-IV-V Pattern

If you start with the preceding 1-4-5 pattern and throw in the 6 chord for a little variation, you can create a large number of songs.


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