There are many varieties of chord progressions.

What’s the Point in Familiarizing yourself with Progressions?
  1. For anyone wanting to learn to play by ear, familiarizing yourself with common progressions is a must.  It is not uncommon for people who have developed their ear, to listen to new music and to hear the progressions used in various parts of the song.
  2. For anyone wanting to write music, it is so beneficial to learn progressions.  Progressions can help break through ‘musical writers block’.
  3. Click here for the PDF file of Common Chord Progressions.
Twelve Bar Blues

A popular chord progression last century was the 12 bar blues.  In its most basic format it is as follows (each chord is played for one measure):

I  -  I - I - I
IV - IV - I - I
V  - IV - I - I

Another way to play this progression is with a V chord as a turn-around chord to repeat the 12 bars.

I  -  I - I - I
IV - IV - I - I
V  - IV - I - V --> then repeat
Practice these Chord Progressions

Play each progression over and over in the key of G.  Then play in the keys of C, D, A and E, etc.

  1. I-IV-V-V
  2. I-V-vi-IV
  3. I-IV-vi-V
  4. I-vi-IV
  5. vi-IV-I-V
  6. vi-V-I-ii
  7. I-ii-V-V
  8. V-ii-IV-I
  9. I-bVII-IV-IV

Download this sheet of Common Chord Progressions.