All time popular pop chord progression I-V-VI-IV pop music is the “I-V-vi-IV” progression. It is used in many hit songs such as “Let It Be” by The Beatles, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley, “All of Me” by John Legend, and “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. This progression creates a sense of resolution and stability, making it a favorite among songwriters and composers.
Why It is Most popular?
The “I-V-vi-IV” chord progression is popular in pop music because it creates a sense of resolution and stability. The progression starts on the tonic chord (I), which is the most stable chord in a key and serves as the foundation for the rest of the progression. The V chord (also known as the dominant chord) creates a sense of tension and anticipation, which is then resolved by the vi chord (the relative minor) and finally by the IV chord (the subdominant chord). This progression creates a sense of movement and progression, making it perfect for the verse-chorus structure of pop songs. Additionally, this progression is easy to remember and sing along to, making it catchy and appealing to listeners.
What more we can do from this progression?
There are several ways to build on the basic “I-V-vi-IV” chord progression in pop music:
Modulation: Changing the key of the progression can create a new and interesting feel. For example, modulating from the key of C to the key of G can add a sense of energy and excitement to the progression.
Extension: Adding extra chords to the progression can create a more complex and interesting sound. For example, adding a ii chord before the V chord can create a sense of tension and dissonance.
Inversion: Reordering the chords in the progression can create a new and unexpected sound. For example, playing the chords in the order of IV-I-vi-V can create a sense of surprise and unpredictability.
Substitution: Replacing a chord in the progression with a different chord can create a new and unique sound. For example, replacing the V chord with a V7 chord can add a sense of tension and dissonance.
Experimenting with different chord voicings and inversions.
Mixing it with other chord progressions to create a unique sound.
These are just a few examples of how the “I-V-vi-IV” chord progression can be expanded and modified to create new and interesting sounds in pop music. It is important to experiment and try different combinations of chords and progressions to find the right sound for a particular song or project.
An idea to start working on this chord progression
Here’s an idea to start working with the “I-V-vi-IV” chord progression:
Start by playing the chords in the basic order: I-V-vi-IV. For example, in the key of C, the chords would be C-G-Am-F. Play through the progression a few times to get a feel for the movement and progression.
Experiment with different chord voicings. Try playing the chords in different inversions or using different voicings such as playing a C Major chord in open position or using a C Major 7th chord instead.
Try adding an extra chord to the progression. For example, you can add ii chord before the V chord. In the key of C it would be Dm.
Experiment with different rhythms and strumming patterns. Try playing the chords with a steady eighth-note rhythm, or try using a more syncopated or off-beat pattern.
Write a melody or a vocal line over the progression. Try singing or playing a simple melody over the chords, and see how the melody interacts with the progression.
Once you have a basic idea, you can start working on the lyrics and structure of the song.
Finally, you can record and produce the song.
Remember that this is just a starting point, and there are countless ways to expand and modify this progression to create your own unique sound.