What Is A 1-4-5 Progression

One question that comes up from time to time in the Rock House Forums that a lot of new musicians want to know is what exactly a 1-4-5 progression is.

Quite simply a 1-4-5 progression is the most popular chord progression in music. The numbers refer to the scale degrees that the chords are built from.

Let’s say you wanted to make a 1-4-5 progression in the key of “C” Major. The “C” Major scale goes C-D-E-F-G-A-B so the first note is “C” the 1, from this note we make a “C” Major chord, the fourth note is “F” or the 4 and we make an “F” Major chord from this note. And finally “G” is the 5 and we make a “G” Major chord from this note.

So a “C” Major 1-4-5 progression is formed by playing “C”, “F”, &”G” Major chords.

You can use this theory with any Major scale to form the 1-4-5 progression. As you get more familiar with the sound this creates you’ll start to notice how many great songs were written using this progression. It’s also the foundation for the famous 12 bar blues progression.

I hope this helps and have some fun with it!!!


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