…exploring the combinatorics of pop’s favorite chords, and finding the obvious gaps.
There are 6 ways to order the chords I — IV — V — vi, invariant to circular shifts. Four of those orderings are used all over the place. Here they are:
I → IV → vi → V
- Boston – More Than a Feeling
- Scandal – Goodbye To You
- Bryan Adams – Summer of ‘69 (starting on vi, i.e. vi → V → I → IV)
I → V → vi → IV
Zillions of songs, see:
Maybe highlighted best by:
I → vi → IV → V
Every song from the 1950s, e.g.:
- CCR – Have You Ever Seen the Rain (starting on IV, i.e. IV → V → I → vi)
I → vi → V → IV
- Cheap Trick – Surrender
- Candlebox – Far Behind
- Tom Petty – Learning to Fly (starting on IV, i.e. IV → I → vi → V)
I → IV → V → vi
I → V → IV → vi
These two are totally underutilized! Maybe going from vi to I doesn't sound good. Or maybe we could write some huge hits using these progressions.
…the Doctor of Rock’s guide to matching your musical goals to musical starting points.
Recently a friend asked for my thoughts on whether he’d end up a happier musician by focusing on one instrument (depth-first) or spreading his time across instruments, composing, recording, singing, etc. (breadth-first). I’ve spent most of my life as a breadth-first musician with a short attention span, but I don’t really come down on one side or other. My thoughts ultimately boiled down to “first try to figure out what aspects of music make you happy, then work backwards from there”.
I’m going to more or less paste these thoughts in this post. So if you’re ready to take some advice from a mediocre hobbyist with no notable musical experience, read on!Continue reading and join the discussion about maximizing musical happiness… →