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Three Chord Progressions

PUBLISHED: Sep 10, 2013 UPDATED: Jan 15, 2016 • VIEWS: 23 • LESSON CODE: UL59f

Instruments: ANY ukulele leadsheet guitar Subjects: beginnerintermediateprogressionsrepertoiretheory

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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

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Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Three Chord Progressions at this time.

Harmonic Analysis Lesson Series • Updated: Jan 6, 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: Mar 19, 2019

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 too 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.

Remembering a song is lot like remembering the directions for a road trip. There are the turn-by-turn directions, road maps, signs and landmarks that will get you to where you are going. Turn here, turn there, remember this and remember that landmark. With a songs it's the chords, the melody, style, the harmonic cells, the form, etc that are part of the song that you want to remember.

The Major Scale • Updated: Feb 11, 2016

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: Sep 5, 2011

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 at this time.

A Guide to Guitar Chords
Updated: Jan 5, 2020

Covers basic guitar chords for beginning to intermediate guitar students.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution
Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords.

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele
Updated: Nov 24, 2009

Using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire.

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

Covers the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know - for Lefties.

A Guide to Ukulele Strums
Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Learn a variety of strums and rhythmic patterns in wide range of musical styles.

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.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Three Chord Progressions 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.

Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs
Updated: Jan 1, 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 at this time.

Basic Open Position Guitar Chords
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart
Updated: May 11, 2019

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