The Four Chord Pop Progression

Published: 16 Sep 2013 Updated: 14 Jul 2022Visits: 264Code: UL59g

INSTRUMENTS: Chords Main: Ukulele Others: ANY Ukulele
Subjects: Beginner • Intermediate • Advanced • Songwriting • Repertoire • Progressions • Pop • Famous

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The Four Chord Pop Progression

This is the most popular chord progression in use today. It has replaced the most common chord progression that was used in the 50s, the 1 6 2 5 chord progression.

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If the I V VI IV (1 5 6 4) progression where in the key of C Major the chords are: C G Am F. For the key of G Major the chords are: G D Em C.

  • All to Well — Taylor Swift
  • Don't Stop Believing — Journey
  • Dammit — Blink 182
  • Hey Soul Sister — Train
  • It's My Life — Bon Jovi
  • I'm Yours — Jason Mraz
  • Let it Be — Beatles
  • No Woman No Cry — Bob Marley
  • Simple Man — Lynard Skynard
  • So Lonely — Police
  • Someone Like You — Adele
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads — John Denver
  • Wagon Wheel — Bob Dylan
  • When I Come Around — Green Day
  • With Or Without You — U2

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The Four Chord Pop Progression…

More songs using this progression as the foundation for the majority of the song.

  • 1234 — Plain White Tees
  • America's Funniest Home Videos Theme
  • American Pie
  • Apologize — Timberland featuring OneRepublic
  • Auld Lang Syne — Robert Burns
  • Behind These Hazel Eyes — Kelly Clarkson
  • Barbie Girl — Aqua
  • Beautiful — Akon
  • Best Friends — Dog Party
  • Birdplane — The Axis of Awesome
  • Bullet With Butterfly Wings — The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Can You Feel The Love Tonight — Elton John (from The Lion King)
  • Complicated — Avril Lavigne
  • Don't Matter — Akon
  • Double Rainbow — The Gregory Brothers
  • Fall at Your Feet — Crowded House /li>
  • Forever Young — Alphaville
  • If I Were A Boy — Beyonce
  • In My Head — Jason DeRulo
  • Kids — MGMT
  • Love the Way You Lie — Eminem featuring Rihanna
  • Land Down Under — Men At Work
  • Lavern and Shirley TV Theme
  • Let it Go — Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez from Frozen
  • No One — Alicia Keys
  • One Of Us — Joan Osborne
  • Otherside — Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Paparazzi — Lady Gaga
  • Pictures of You — The Last Goodnight
  • Pokerface — Lady Gaga
  • Save Tonight — Eagle Eye Cherry
  • Scar — Missy Higgins
  • Self Esteem — The Offspring
  • Sex and Candy — Marcy Playground
  • Superman — Five for Fighting
  • Take On Me — A Ha
  • Time To Say Goodbye — Andrea Bocelli
  • Take On Me — Ah Ha
  • Taylor — Jack Johnson
  • The Call — Regina Spector
  • The Show — Lenka
  • Two Become One — Spice Girls
  • Wherever You Will Go — The Calling
  • You're Beautiful — James Blunt
  • You're Gonna Go Far Kid — The Offspring
  • She Will Be Loved — Maroon Five
  • Say — John Mayer, (from the movie The Bucket List)
  • Where Is the Love — Black Eyed Peas

Here's a web site that has to videos of many of the songs on this list.

As you can see you can learn quite a few songs by simply learning common chord progressions in all 15 keys. Especially the common keys of C, G, D, E, A. And on ukulele F and Bb are also common.

All 15 Keys ( 1 5 6 4 )

  • | C | G/B* | Am | F |

Sharp Keys

The will take you a lessons the the Key/Key Signature for the key.

  • | G | D/F# | Em | C |
  • | D | A/C# | Bm | G |
  • | A | E/G# | F#m | D |
  • | E | B/D# | C#m | A |
  • | B | F#/A# | G#m | E |
  • | F# | C#/E# | D#m | B |
  • | C# | G#/B# | A#m | F# |

Flat Keys

The will take you a lessons the the Key/Key Signature for the key.

  • | F | C/E | Dm | Bb |
  • | Bb | F/A# | Gm | Eb |
  • | Eb | Bb/D | Gm | Ab |
  • | Ab | Eb/G | Fm | Db |
  • | Db | Ab/C | Bbm | Gb |
  • | Gb | Db/F | Ebm | Cb |
  • | Cb | Gb/Bb | Abm | Fb |

Slash Chords

* Slash Chords - A slash chord is an indication that a chord voicing with the note after the slash should be voiced with the that note as the lowest note in the bass . In the case of this common 1 5 6 4 progression is creates a descending bass line. On ukulele unless you using a low string four tuning slash chord are commonly ignored and the fundamental chord, the name before the slash is played.

A closely related progression is:


This 6 4 1 5 is very closely related to the 1 5 6 4 Four Chord Pop Progressions above. Just starts at a different part of the progression.

  • Africa — Toto
  • Numb — Linkin Park
  • River FLow In You — Yiruma

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NOTE: - I (Curt,, Learning Ukulele with Curt) Have been using iReal Pro, bought and paid for on several platforms ever since it first came on to music scene. It is a great tool and one I use with all students as well in my daily, persons practice sessions. iReal Pro was made by a very small team of passionate people led by Massimo Biolcati, a jazz musician in NYC who taught himself to code for his first iPhone so that he could build his dream app.

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End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

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