*Chord Progression List - Extensive

Updated: 2016

Do you want to learn new chord progression to compose new sounds and songs?

In this article you will learn popular chord progressions with two chords, three chords, four chords, five chords, and six chords.

The list of chord progressions below will help generate ideas for song compositions.

Roman Numeral Notation
Roman Numeral Notation in the Key of C

Chord progression list with two chords

  • I-IV Common progression.
  • I-V Common progression

Chord Progressions on Piano
Chord Progressions on Piano

Chord progression list with three chords

  • I-IV-V Commonly used in rock and roll
  • I-II-IV Used by the Beatles in – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • I-IV-V7 *V7 is a regular V chord with a minor third on the top. An example of a V7 would be G, B, D, F. You can learn more about sevenths at *How to use 7th Chords in Compositions.
  • I-flatted VII-IV Used in gospel music
  • I-flatted III-IV One of my favorite progressions, used by Lynyrd Skynyrd in ‘Free Bird’

Chord progression list with four chords

  • I-IV-I-V Common progression
  • I-IV-I-V7 Common progression with dominant 7th chord in place of V chord
  • I-IV-V-IV Common progression with a rolling motion.
  • I-vi-IV-V Heart and Soul – Theme from the film Big with Tom Hanks. This chord progression is fun to play.
  • I-vi-ii-V Gershwin in ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’
  • I-V-vi-IV Used by Journey in ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. Another fun rolling progression.
  • IV-I-IV-V Chord progression not starting on the tonic!
  • I-I-IV-V Similar to the I-IV-V, but more this is more widely used because it is four measures long. Many musical phrases are divisible by 4, normally 16, which makes chord progression using four chords more popular than others.
  • vi-IV-I-V Currently a very popular chord progression used by The Offspring, Linkin Park, The Cranberries, OneRepublic, and others. Also used in our composition titled Medley of Waterfalls

Chord progressions list with five chords

  • I-vi-ii-IV-V7 Common Progression. Notice how the subsequent chord has many of the same notes. I and vi, ii and IV, both have two notes in common.
  • I-vi-ii-V7-ii Similar to the previous chord progression, but with a ii squeezed in between the V7 and the I. This added ii makes the progression less final at the end. V to I is a popular way to end songs. With the ii, it sounds like the song keeps going.

Chord progressions list with six chords

  • I-IV-I-V7-IV-I Blues and jazz is normally a 12–bar progression making this chord progression ideal for jazz tunes.

Conclusion about chord progressions

The numerous above chord progressions lists are ideal to use if you’re stuck at the keyboard and unsure where to begin. The above chord progressions are popular progression that have been around, but feel free to compose your own progressions. Who knows, maybe you’ll compose the next popular progression.

Chord Progression for Piano
Chord Progression for Piano

Based on the above popular chord progressions, I composed the table below. I hope it will be helpful. It shows which chord generally lead to which other chords.

Chord Progression Theory Table

The I chord can go to any chord, but commonly goes to the IV or V chord.
The ii chord leads to the IV, V, V7, or I chord.
The iii chord leads to the IV chord.
The IV chord leads to V7, I, or V chord.
The V chord leads to the I, IV, or vi chord.
The vi chord leads to IV, ii or V chord.
The vii° chord leads to I, or iii chord.

In other words, in the key of C.

The C chord can go to any chord, but commonly goes to the F or G chord.
The D chord leads to the F, G, G7, or C chord.
The Em chord leads to the F chord.
The F chord leads to G7, C, or G chord.
The G chord leads to the C, F, or Am chord.
The Am chord leads to F, Dm or G chord.
The Bdim chord leads to C, or Em chord.

More details about the numbering system is below in this video.

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments.

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