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Watch the I IV V Progression online guitar lesson by Denny Sarokin from Songwriter's Guide to Great Guitar

A major chord ( 1st, 3rd, & 5th notes of a major scale) built around the I, IV, & V tones of that scale produce the most “primal” chord progression. “Twist & Shout”. “La Bamba”, and “Hang On Sloopy” are perfect examples.


When Harlan Howard, “The Godfather” of country songwriters, described country music as “3 chords and the truth!” - this was the progression he was talking about (think Hank Williams’, “Your Cheating Heart”).