Watch the The i bVII bVI V Progression online guitar lesson by Vicki Genfan from Rhythm Makeover: Vicki Genfan
This is a i-bVII-bVI-V progression in the key of Cm. Another name for this progression is flamenco progression because its roots come from the Andalusian Gypsies, or Flamencos of Southern Spain. (This music was being played as early as the fourteenth century forward). These chords became known during the 1960's as money chords because of their widespread use at that time in pop music.
Some of the many hits that were written using the Flamenco progression are "Happy Together" by the Turtles, "Walk, Don't Run" by the Ventures, "Maneater" by Hall & Oats, "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues, and "All Along the Watchtower", by Bob Dylan. Notice that the progression starts with a minor chord.
In the first approach we’re using a very rhythmic, funky, 80’s kind of strum that starts up in the 10th fret and works its way down the neck to the 3rd fret. The second approach is more in the folk-rock vein. I’ve placed a capo on the 3rd fret so the chords are easier to play and we can take advantage of having more open strings, which gives us a bigger, ringing sound. We’ll be playing, Am-G-F-Esus-E7 and using a 16th note strumming pattern.