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rock and roll I-IV-V progressions


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Rock and Roll Progressions

"The infamous three-chord “E-A-B7” Rock [and Roll] Progression is a staple of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Whereas the “E-C#m-A-B7” [Doo-Wop] Rock Ballad Progression substituted the harder sounding “A” chord for the softer “F#m” chord in the Standard ["E-C#m-F#m-B7"] Changes, the Rock [and Roll] Progression omitted the softer sounding “C#m” chord to create a harder rock sound. Although the quality of the chords in Rock [and Roll] Progressions are not usually changed, sometimes the “A” chord is changed to an “A6” and the “B7” is changed to a “B” or “B11”. Common Rock [and Roll]Progression variations include the “E-A-B-E” and “E-A-B-A” Progressions. An inventive combination of the Rock [and Rol] Progression with an Ascending “E-G#-A-B” Bass Line was used to produce Wing’s 1978 number one With A Little Luck and Billy Joel’s 1979 My Life." (Excerpt from Money Chords - A Songwriter's Sourcebook of Popular Chord Progressions © 2000 by Richard J. Scott) Three great examples of rock and roll progressions are shown below in the key of C.

Twist And Shout (Beatles - 1964) verse progression

C / F / G / / /

Do You Love Me (Contours - 1962) verse progression

C / / / F / G /

Mr. Jones (Counting Crows - 1993) chorus progression

C / / / F / / / G / / / / / / /

Click below for the best in free Rock and Roll Progression lessons available on the web as well as links to various song examples.


I-IV-V -- the One-Four-Five Chord Progression
Rock (I-IV-V) Progression (MoneyChords)
Rock (I-IV-V) Progressions (WholeNote/Rich Scott)
Rock Progression Songs (MoneyChords)
The Music Matters: An analysis of early rock and roll (Joe Burns)
The Three-Chord Trick: I-IV-V Progression (Olav Torvund)

Song Examples

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (MoneyChords)
Like A Rolling Stone (MoneyChords)
Maggie May (MoneyChords)

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