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Rock (I-IV-V) Progressions

Rich Scott (693) · [archive]
Style: Rock/Pop · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 140
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-IV-I-V7 Progression


This progression adds an additional "I" chord to the I-IV-V progession between the "IV" and "V" chords. This progression, which has been around since the late 1700s, was used to write such songs as Amazing Grace (See Sheet Music) verse (1779), On Top Of Old Smokey (See Sheet Music) verse (1841), and Dixie (See Sheet Music) verse (1861). In the Rock era, the progression was used to write such songs as Green, Green (See Tab) chorus (1963), and Mellow Yellow (See Tab) verse (1966).

Chord Substitutions:

Below are some well-known songs created by applying chord substitutions to the I-IV-I-V7 progression.

E-A-E-[G-A]-B7 = Please, Please Me verse (1964)
E-A-E7-B7 = Little Sister chorus (1961)
E-A9-E-B7 = Hi-De-Ho verse (1970)
E-E+-A-Am-E-B7 = It's My Party chorus (1963)
E5-A-E5-B7 = Bad Case Of Loving You chorus (1979)
E7-A7-E7-B7 = I Saw Her Standing There verse (1964) and Pink Cadillac verse (1988)
E9-A-Am-E-B7 = If I Fell bridge (1964)

Below you will find the first eight bars of the traditional Dixie compared to Elvis Presley's cover of An American Trilogy (which starts out with Dixie). This is an interesting study in chord substitution and arrangement. Notice the use of an inversion to help create a great Ascending Bass Line followed by the Standard I-vi-ii-V7 Progression.

E                       A                        
E           E/G#        A           A#o
/ /  / /    / /  / /    / /  / /    / /   / /
    
E                       B7          E                         
E           C#m         F#m7 B7     E     A  
/ /  / /    / /  / /    / /  / /    / /   / /    
The traditional verse progression is shown at the bottom of the page.

Rock (I-IV-V) Progressions - Page 22