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Watch the The I V vi IV Progression online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Acoustic Guitar 7: Grooves & Etudes

The I V vi IV Progression - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Vicki Genfan and is sourced from Rhythm Makeover: Vicki Genfan.


For this progression, we'll be working in the key of C and playing a I-V-vi-IV progression. That's C-G-Am-F. This could be the most commonly used progression in all of pop music! Songs like 'I'm Yours' , 'Wherever you Will Go', 'She Will be Loved' and U2's 'With or Without You' are just some of the major hits using this progession. Our first approach uses chords in the first position and incorporates a spacious, chunky rhythmic pattern that uses right hand palm muting, color tones and a melodic motif that follows each chord, creating a simple counter-melody. Version 2 uses chords in the higher frets (5-10) and voicings that have much closer intervals. With these voicings we create more dissonance or tension. We're also using a strumming pattern that's much busier, employing a 16th note rhythm.