Most Common Chord Progression

Most Common Chord Progression

I–V–vi–IV is the most common chord progression.

Capital roman numerals represent major chords while Lower case roman numerals represent minor chords.

Each roman numeral represents a scale degree (note within the scale which can be used to build chords).

Example:
Scale/Key - C Major  - iii–I–IV  (E minor, C major, F Major)

Why does this chord progression work so well?

  • The first I (tonic) moving to the dominant (V) creates tension to return back to the tonic. Using fifths is an easy way to harmonize.
  • Ending on the IV creates tension for the turn around

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