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Three Chord Progressions

Published: 10 Sep 2013 Updated: 13 Sep 2021Visits: 137Code: UL59f

Topic: Chords ANY ukulele leadsheet guitar Subjects: Theory Beginner Intermediate Repertoire Progressions

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Three Chord Progressions

Three-chord tunes, though, are more common, since a melody may then dwell on any note of the scale. Often the chords may be selected to fit a pre-conceived melody, but just as often it is the progression itself that gives rise to the melody.

The three-chord I - IV - V progression, a particularly popular kind of circle progression can be placed into a four-bar phrase in several ways that have been put to endless use in popular music. Using the Nashville Numbering System there are represented as 1 4 5.

  • I - IV - V - V ( examples in C: C F G G )
  • I - I - IV - V ( C C F G )
  • I - IV - I - V ( C F C G )
  • I - IV - V - IV ( C F G F )

The twelve bar blues and its many variants use an elongated, three-line form of the I - IV - V progression that has also generated countless hit records, including the most significant output of rock and rollers such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard. In its most elementary form (there are many variants) the chords progress as follows:

  • I - I - I - I
  • IV - IV - I - I
  • V - IV - I - I

WikipediA: Three Chord Progressions

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Songs

There are too many songs to list that only have three chords. Go to any music store and there will be books actually titles Three Chord Songs. but here are a few

  • All Shook Up
  • Amazing Grace
  • Away In a Manger
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Billy Boy
  • Blowin’ In the Wind
  • Blue Suede Shoes
  • Bye, Bye, Love
  • Camptown Races
  • Chantilly Lace
  • Don’t Be Cruel
  • Down By the Riverside
  • For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow
  • Frankie and Johnny
  • Goodnight, Ladies
  • Hang On Sloopy
  • Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here
  • He’s Got the Whole World
  • How Much Is That Doggie...
  • Jambalaya
  • La Cucaracha
  • London Bridge
  • Marianne
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb
  • Mexican Hat Dance
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • Skip to My Lou
  • Three Blind Mice
  • Tom Dooley

iRealPro Practice Progressions

Here are a few common harmonic cells, i.e., the chords that show up in basic songs.

You'll find that there a lot of common chord sequences that make of the songs that we all like and have heard many, many times over and over, over the years,

Use iRealPro and several different styles and transpose. What sound good in one style might not sound good in another style.

iReal Pro - Practice Made Perfect • The essential instrument. for every musician. Master your art by practicing with the world's most versatile virtual band, tirelessly accompanying you in any style, tempo or key. With thousands of chord charts in your pocket, you'll always be prepared for the next jam session.

NOTE: - I (Curt, LearningUkulele.com, Learning Ukulele with Curt) Have been using iReal Pro, bought and paid for on several platforms ever since it first came one 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.


End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Three Chord Progressions.

Harmonic Analysis Lesson Series

Updated: 06 Jan 2020

Harmonic Analysis ( HA ) is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and has a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's root to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality. Once a chord's function is identified, scale selections along with chord and scale substitutions can be made. This process is called Root Movement Analysis ( RMA ). This series of lessons are extracted from my book for use with individual private and on-line students. Each lesson directly corresponds the chapters in my book Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution by Curt Sheller (me).

Remembering Songs

Updated: 10 Dec 2021

Listening to songs and wanting to play the same songs on ukulele – that's what draws most people to the ukulele. That and it looks like a load of fun and easy to play – which it is. Then you need to actually remember the songs that you're learning, so you can play them again. And, hopefully, not have to read them off a sheet all the time.

The Major Scale

Updated: 02 Apr 2021

Called the "learning scale" for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts

Updated: 11 Jan 2022

The "Major Scale" or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do), the Do in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.

Related Books

Related Books for Three Chord Progressions.

A Guide to Guitar Chords

Updated: 05 Jan 2020

Covers basic guitar chords for beginning to intermediate guitar students. These are the chords that ALL guitar should know - regardless of style.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution

Updated: 10 Jun 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.

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

Updated: 20 Apr 2022

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.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties

Updated: 10 Jan 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: 11 Apr 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.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, The Foundation and Workbook 1

Updated: 08 Dec 2021

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.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Three Chord Progressions.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection

Updated: 01 Jan 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.

Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

Learning the similarities between chord progressions and songs helps you remember a lot of songs. There's a lot more in common between songs than one might think.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Three Chord Progressions.

Basic Open Position Guitar Chords

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

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

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart

Updated: 11 May 2019

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

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