Guitar Chord Progressions

Guitar chord progressions use different combinations of guitar chords from the same key to create a song structure. A key is a group of chords based the major scale or natural minor scale. The major scale's notes lay out the root notes for the chords used in a major key. The chords in each key are commonly identified by Roman numerals with the major chords capitalized, and the minor chords lowercase.

C Major Scale C D E F G A B
C Major Chords C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
Roman Numeral I ii iii IV V vi vii

Use the following guitar chord progressions to learn how to structure a song. The chord progression examples are in the key of C. Click Here for More Guitar Chord Keys

Common Major Key Chord Progressions

The I - IV - V Chord Progression

The I-IV-V chord progression is commonly used in blues, rock and jazz and is also known as the 12 Bar Blues. Check out the 12 Bar Blues Lesson to learn more on the I-IV-V chord progression.

   I  IV V  
   C  F  G  
e|-0--1--3-|
B|-1--1--0-|
G|-0--2--0-|
D|-2--3--0-|
A|-3--3--2-|
E|-------3-|
		

The I - vi - IV - V Chord Progression

The I-vi-IV-V chord progression is popular in doo-wop and oldies music in the 1950's and 1960's. The I-vi-IV-V progression is also known as the 50's progression.

   I  vi IV V  
   C  Am F  G  
e|-3--0--1--3-|
B|-5--1--1--3-|
G|-5--2--2--4-|
D|-5--2--3--5-|
A|-3--0--3--5-|
E|------------|
		

The I - vi - ii - V Chord Progression

The I-vi-ii-V chord progression is another common chord progression used frequently in blues, jazz and many other styles of music. This chord progression is probably the most used chord progression in music. The I vi ii V chord progression can also be used as a turnaround. Learn more about Blues Guitar Turnarounds.

   I  vi ii V  
   C  Am F  G  
e|-0--0--1--3-|
B|-1--1--3--3-|
G|-0--2--2--4-|
D|-2--2--0--5-|
A|-3--0-----5-|
E|------------|
		

The ii - V - I Chord Progression

The ii V I chord progression is used frequently in jazz music and many other style of music. This chord progression is also a turnaround chord progression.

   ii V  I
   Dm G  C
e|-1--3--0-|
B|-3--0--1-|
G|-2--0--0-|
D|-0--0--2-|
A|----2--3-|
E|----3----|
		

Common Minor Key Chord Progressions

Natural Minor Key Chord Progressions

C Natural Minor Scale C D E♭ F G A♭ B♭
C Natural Minor Chords Cm Ddim E♭ Fm Gm A♭ B♭
Roman Numeral i ii III iv v VI VII

The i - iv Chord Progression

   i  iv
   Cm Fm 
e|-3--1-|
B|-4--1-|
G|-5--1-|
D|-5--3-|
A|-3--3-|
E|----1-|
		

The i - v Chord Progression

   i  v
   Cm Gm 
e|-3--3-|
B|-4--3-|
G|-5--3-|
D|-5--5-|
A|-3--5-|
E|----3-|
		

The i - VI Chord Progression

   i  VI
   Cm Ab 
e|-3--4-|
B|-4--4-|
G|-5--5-|
D|-5--6-|
A|-3--6-|
E|----4-|
		

The i - VII Chord Progression

   i  VII
   Cm Bb 
e|-3--1-|
B|-4--3-|
G|-5--3-|
D|-5--3-|
A|-3--1-|
E|------|
		

The i - iv - v Chord Progression

  i  iv v
  Cm Fm Gm
e|-3--1--3-|
B|-4--1--3-|
G|-5--1--3-|
D|-5--3--5-|
A|-3--3--5-|
E|----1--3-|
		

The i - iv - VI Chord Progression

  i  iv VI
  Cm Fm Ab
e|-3--1--4-|
B|-4--1--4-|
G|-5--1--5-|
D|-5--3--6-|
A|-3--3--6-|
E|----1--4-|
		

The i - VI - VII Chord Progression

  i  VI VII
  Cm Ab Bb
e|-3--4--1-|
B|-4--4--3-|
G|-5--5--3-|
D|-5--6--3-|
A|-3--6--1-|
E|----4----|