Forever Site Access Membership for $149 and never worry about a subscription again! Annual plan also available.

Live Streaming, Learning Ukulele with Curt on YouTube Every Thursday at 1100 EDT (USA) (-4UTC)



More Uke















Four Chord Pop Progressions - I V VI IV ( 1 5 6 4 )

PUBLISHED: Sep 16, 2013 UPDATED: Nov 27, 2020VIEWS: 131 • LESSON CODE: UL59g

Instruments: ANY ukulele Subjects: beginnerintermediateadvancedprogressionssongwritingrepertoire

This Download is NOT part of your membership level. Sign-up for a Site Access or Upgrade your current access level to download this PDF or your can purchase a copy for download.

Each PDF file is a formatted high resolution file that prints out great. You'll need Adobe Reader or a PDF viewing application to view your PDF file.

Four Chord Pop Progressions - I V VI IV ( 1 5 6 4 )

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.

In the key of C major this is: C G Am F.

In the Nashville Number System the sequence is:

<p class="text-2xl text-center"><b>1 5 6 4</b></p>

A 2009 recording by the comedy group The Axis of Awesome, their “Four Chord Song”, in E major ( E B C#m A ), is a widely viewed clip on YouTube.

The V is often replaced by III. In the key of C major this is: C Em Am F.

Additional Content Available for Premium Site Access Plans Only

This content requires a Premium / Gold Access Plan or enrolled in the Study with Curt - On-line or Private Lesson Program.

To view additional content for this page you'll need to either Sign In or Register for or Upgrade to a Premium Site Access Plan.

Login or SignUp to View Complete Page


In the key of C major this progression is: C G Am F.

A 2009 recording by the comedy group The Axis of Awesome, their "Four Chord Song", in E major (E B C#m A), is a widely viewed clip on YouTube .

The V is often replaced by III. In the key of C major this is: C Em Am F.

As you can see from the list below here there are quite a few songs that use this progression for the entire song or part of the song.

If the 1 5 6 4 progression where in the key of C major the 1 6 4 5 chords are: C G Am F. For the key of G major the 1 5 6 4 chords are: G D Em C.

  • Africa - Toto
  • Apologize - Timberland featuring One Republic
  • Auld Lang Syne - Robert Burns
  • Barbie Girl - Aqua
  • Beautiful - Akon
  • Behind These Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson
  • 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
  • Dammit - Blink 182
  • Don't Matter - Akon
  • Don't Stop Believing - Journey
  • Double Rainbow - The Gregory Brothers
  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • Hey Soul Sister - Train
  • I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • If I Were A Boy - Beyonce
  • In My Head - Jason DeRulo
  • It's My Life - Bon Jovi
  • Kids - MGMT
  • Land Down Under - Men At Work
  • Let It Be - The Beatles
  • Love the Way You Lie - Eminem featuring Rihanna
  • No Woman No Cry - Bob Marley
  • One Of Us - Joan Osborne
  • Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 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
  • She Will Be Loved - Maroon Fivev
  • Superman - Five for Fighting
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
  • Take On Me - A Ha
  • Taylor - Jack Johnson
  • Theme from America's Funniest Home Videos
  • Time To Say Goodbye - Andrea Bocelli
  • Two Become One - Spice Girls
  • When I Come Around - Green Day
  • Where Is the Love - Black Eyed Peas
  • Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
  • With Or Without You - U2
  • You're Beautiful - James Blunt
  • You're Gonna Go Far Kid - The Offspring

Songs that part of the songs are using this progression.

  • American Pie - Don McLean
  • The Call - Regina Spektor
  • Say - John Mayer, from the movie "The Bucket List"
  • The Show - Lenka
  • Best Friend - Dog Party

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

As you can see you can learn quite a few songs by simply learning this common chord progression 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

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

Flat Keys

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

Slash Chords

Slash Chords - A slash chord is indication that a chord voicing with the note after the slash should be the bass note of the voicing. 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 are played.

Download or View PDF for Complete Lesson

Download this lesson's PDF file for the latest, complete, and most up-to-date version of the lesson. As well as additional information not presented on-line.

Members and Active Students need to sign-in
to download this lesson's PDF for the complete lesson.

Related Books

Related Books for Four Chord Pop Progressions - I V VI IV ( 1 5 6 4 ) at this time.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties
Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Covering basic ukulele chords that ALL uke players MUST know, movable chord forms, rock uke chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and an introduction to 4-part jazz chords and more... FOR LEFTIES - Tunings: C, G, or D Tunings. Low or high string four variations.

A Guide to Ukulele Strums
Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Learn a variety of strums and rhythmic patterns in wide range of musical styles. One of the first skills a ukulele player learns is the art and craft of strumming, playing rhythm. This refers to an accompaniment technique suitable for the singer, singer - songwriter or someone who plays a support role for another instrument.

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele
Updated: Nov 24, 2009

Exploring jazz chords using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire. Core Chords are the basic set of chords needed to play a wide range of music, in a variety of styles. This set of chords includes basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and the core 4-part "jazz" chords.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, The Foundation and Workbook 1
Updated: Nov 9, 2015

Modular Phonetic Rhythm represents a significant advance in the teaching and application of rhythm. Eliminating many inefficient aspects of rhythm education, Modular Phonetic Rhythm streamlines the traditional educational approach, resulting in a reflexive reaction to rhythm.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution
Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Four Chord Pop Progressions - I V VI IV ( 1 5 6 4 ) at this time.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Harmonic Analysis is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression or song. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and is a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Four Chord Pop Progressions - I V VI IV ( 1 5 6 4 ) at this time.

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart Updated: May 11, 2019

A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys of C, G, D, A, and E.

Basic Open Position Guitar Chords Updated: Dec 31, 2016

Basic Open Position guitar chords. These are the chords every beginner to advanced guitar player should know. Sometimes called folk or cowboy chords.

A Guide to Advanced Chords Series - Chord Building Chart Updated: Dec 31, 2016

Site Access Plans for

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.

If your anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overloaded with everything on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once and your done.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee that is more material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That along is more than the cost of this plan.

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!


Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II. 34 years ago. Man, does time fly.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!” has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often. I really do need to get out more ;-)