Archive for September 18th, 2013

September 18, 2013

Four Chords

4 chords

The I-V-vi-IV progression (the pop-punk chord progression) is a common chord progression popular across several genres of music. It involves the I, V, vi, and IV chords; for example, in the key of C major, this would be: C-G-Am-F. The V is often replaced by iii (‘Price Tag’), III (‘If We Ever Meet Again’ chorus), ii (‘Halo’), I (‘Doesn’t Mean Anything’), bVII (‘Firework’ first verse), II (‘Try Too Hard’ by P!nk), IV (‘I Gotta Feeling’).

It can also be used in the form vi-IV-I-V, which was dubbed the ‘sensitive female chord progression’ by Boston Globe Columnist Marc Hirsh. In C major this would be Am-F-C-G (Am-F-C-G/B voicing is very common in modern pop music). Hirsh first noticed the chord progression in the song ‘One of Us’ by Joan Osborne. He claimed it was used by many members of the Lilith Fair in the late 1990s.