How many songs use this progression?

03/02/2013 12:51 pm

product_186A small progression with lots of power: I – V- vi – IV

I still remember the first time I realized that so many songs have the same progression even if they were in different keys. One of those such progressions is a I – V- vi – IV. Whenever we use roman numerals to describe a progression, we are referring to the chords built on those scale degree degree numbers in a particular key. The great thing about knowing your roman numerals is that it makes it super simple to change key if you’re trying to sing a song and the original key is not working.

In the key of C, this progression would be: C – G- Am – F
which are the beginning chords for the Beatles’ “Let it Be”

In the key of A, this progression would be” A – E- F#m – E
which are the chords for most of Adele’s “Someone Like You”

Other songs that use this progression include Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and just so you see how long this list might be, here is a very small list of others as well:
Afternoon Delight
I’m Yours
Don’t Stop Believing
Dammit
No One
Under The Bridge
Superman
You’re Beautiful
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Where’s The Love
Take On Me
Here Without You
You’re Beautiful
Man In The Mirror
Right Here Waiting
Wherever You Will Go
Float On
Let It Be
She Will Be Loved
No Woman No Cry
Africa
Too Late To Apologize
Collide
Save Tonight
Lying Naked On The Floor
Happy Ending
She Will Be Loved
With Or Without You
Can You Feel The Love Tonight
Self Esteem

I love this chord progression and love to teach it because it opens the possibility to learn so many songs. Have fun and happy playing!
~Adrian