Watch the The vi ii V I IV iv I Progression online guitar lesson by Vicki Genfan from Rhythm Makeover: Vicki Genfan

This is a vi ii V I IV iv I progression in the key of E major, but starting out with 2 minor chords it has a kind of meloncholy feel to it. The change from a IV major to a iv minor is one of the cool qualities of this progression. Using the minor iv can be traced back to the doo-wop years (50’s), but was quicky stolen by the Beatles and countless other songwriters throughout the years.

Our first approach uses beautiful, lush chords with a lot of color tones and open strings. We'll employ a rolling arpeggiated strum or pick for the first half of each measure, then we just let the strings ring out. The second approach is rhythmically complementary to the first, but much more melodic, using 6ths and arpeggios to move through the changes.