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Rock (I-IV-V) Progressions

Rich Scott (693) · [archive]
Style: Rock/Pop · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 130
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24





The I-V-IV Progression


I-V-IV-V Variations:

Examples of the "I-V-IV-V" progression include Wishin' And Hopin' chorus (1964), Baby's In Black chorus (1964), Crimson And Clover outro (1969), Games People Play verse (1969), Wild World chorus (1971), What Is Life chorus (1971), Nights Are Forever Without You chorus (1976), It's So Easy chorus (1977), First Cut Is The Deepest chorus (1977), The Rose verse (1980), Jack & Diane verse (1982), and My Heart Will Go On verse (1999).

Chord Substitutions:

The "E-B7-Asus2-B7" New Kid In Town verse progression (1976) is an example of a song created by applying chord substitutions to the "I-V-IV-V" Progression.

Descending Bass Lines:

Descending Bass Line Progressions are a type of Moving Bass Line Progression where the bass notes of each chord in the progression move lower generally in half or whole steps typically following the "8-7-6-4", "8-7-6-5", "8-7-b7-6", "6-5-4-3", and "6-5-#4-4" bass note patterns. Descednding Bass Line Progressions are popular with songwriters to create a romantic mood. Below are several examples of songs that created Descending Bass Line Progressions by using chord substitutions and inversions.

E-B/D#-A/C#-  B      = Wonderful Tonight verse (1978)
E-B/D#-A/C#-A-B      = All Out Of Love chorus (1980)
E-B/D#-A/C#-  B11-B7 = He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (1970)


John Cougar's verse to Jack & Diane takes the "I-V-IV" Rock Progression and adds an additional "V" chord after the "IV" chord, creating the chord progression below.

Rock (I-IV-V) Progressions - Page 14