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

PUBLISHED: Sep 16, 2013 • UPDATED: Jan 15, 2019 • LESSON CODE: UL59g • VISITS: 32

ANY ukulele Subjects: beginnerintermediateadvancedprogressionssongwritingrepertoire

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

This is the most popular chrod pregression used today. It has replace the most common chord pregressions that was used in the 50s, the 1 6 25 progression.

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

In the Nashville Number System the sequence is:

1 5 6 4

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.

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I V VI IV

In the key of C major this 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 here there are quite a few songs that use this progression.

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.

  • A Ha - Take On Me
  • Akon - Beautiful
  • Akon - Don't Matter
  • Alphaville - Forever Young
  • Andrea Bocelli - Time To Say Goodbye
  • Aqua - Barbie Girl
  • Avril Lavigne - Complicated
  • Beyonce - If I Were A Boy
  • Black Eyed Peas - Where Is the Love
  • Bob Dylan - Wagon Wheel
  • Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry
  • Bon Jovi - It's My Life
  • Dammit - Blink 182
  • Dog Party - Best Friends
  • Eagle Eye Cherry - Save Tonight
  • Elton John - Can You Feel The Love Tonight (from The Lion King)
  • Eminem featuring Rihanna - Love the Way You Lie
  • Five for Fighting - Superman
  • Green Day - When I Come Around
  • Jack Johnson - Taylor
  • James Blunt - You're Beautiful
  • Jason DeRulo - In My Head
  • Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
  • Joan Osborne - One Of Us
  • John Denver - Take Me Home, Country Roads
  • Journey - Don't Stop Believing
  • Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
  • Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
  • Lady Gaga - Pokerface
  • Lavern and Shirley TV Theme
  • Lynard Skynard - Simple Man
  • Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy
  • Maroon Five - She Will Be Loved
  • Men At Work - Land Down Under
  • MGMT - Kids
  • Missy Higgins - Scar
  • Plain White Tees - 1234
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside
  • Regina Spector - The Call
  • Robert Burns - Auld Lang Syne
  • Spice Girls - Two Become One
  • The Axis of Awesome - Birdplane
  • The Beatles - Let It Be
  • The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
  • The Gregory Brothers - Double Rainbow
  • The Last Goodnight - Pictures of You
  • The Offspring - Self Esteem
  • The Offspring - You're Gonna Go Far Kid
  • The Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings
  • Theme from America's Funniest Home Videos
  • Timberland featuring OneRepublic - Apologize
  • Toto - Africa
  • Train - Hey Soul Sister
  • U2 - With Or Without You

Songs that part of the songs are using this progression.

  • American Pie
  • The Call - Regina Spektor
  • Say - John Mayer, from the movie The Bucket List
  • The Show - Lenka
  • Over the Rainbow**

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 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

  • |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.


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