4 really common chord progressions and why they work

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0:00 Introduction
0:16 vamp
1:53 progression
4:35 Donner
5:21 1-4-5-4 vamp
8:12 the vamp

#donnermusic #

4 really common and why they work

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About the Author: Virtual Piano Online


  1. Thanks for using my suggestion!
    And I will say that Show Me Love by Robyn, Rio by Duran Duran, and Waterfalls by TLC all have the same chord progression so if you can find more songs there’s another good chord progression

    1. “Waterfalls by TLC” was a rewrite (yes they had to settle) of McCartney “Waterfalls”, so maybe check that one too.

  2. We Are Number One coming right after Evanescence was a piece of editing genius, hit me like a freight train

  3. Since the beginning I’ve always wondered… David, where do you get all these examples from? Your music knowledge is vast but I doubt that you just think of all of them from the top of your head

    1. @SantorioMaker Right. That’s the obvious answer. My question is more about specific resources

    2. If you’ve got perfect pitch – or at least relative pitch – then you can just hear it.

      In fairness, most of us, if played a minor chord and a major chord, could tell the difference between them. And we can all tell when one chord is higher or lower than another – those with “relative pitch” learn to recognise the intervals, and know by how much it’s higher or lower from another note / chord.

      Train your ear to be able to do that – relative pitch – and you can just hear that it’s a minor chord that’s a third up or a fourth down. Then you too could basically do this, just by ear.

      Admittedly, it gets complicated with chord inversions – it’s the same notes but in a different order – as this messes with our sense that a chord is higher or lower than another. But, with the ear training for obtaining a sense of “relative pitch”, you’d also learn to recognise what it sounds like when that happens.

      Indeed, the thing is, in order to train your ear to hear “relative pitch”, the way you’d practice it – to keep those skills sharp – is to, well, work out what you’re hearing whenever you listen to a new song. You practice a skill by doing it repeatedly. And then there’s, therefore, just memory.

      Like, when he played that I – IV – V – IV progression, that instantly sounded like “Summer Nights” from Greece to me. I knew it was, therefore, going to come up as an example. And if you’re going through songs, working out their chord progressions, to train and test your “relative pitch” then you’ll just remember that, oh, right, there was that song by the Beatles that did that one. You worked that out before, ages back, but you remember it and can throw it into the examples.

      But, yeah, you can train your ear – develop “relative pitch” – to pick out intervals and the “quality” (major, minor, diminished, augmented, etc.) of a chord, and then you can just hear it. The more you do that – and I’m sure David’s very well practised – then you can get to the point where you’re able to just hear it as you’re listening.

    3. I’m far from a good musician, but I can recognize certain chord progressions: the twelve-bar blues, the ‘axis progression’ and the doo-wop changes, for example. I imagine that better musicians can recognize more of them.

  4. I owe you a huge debt of gratitude. I’ve been stagnant for quite a few years trying to spice up my chord progressions, and your videos have helped so much, just by demystifying the construction of my favorite songs.

    Idk if that made any sense, but point being: you’ve made me a better musician and songwriter.

    Also, it irks me that someone with such a baby face is so much better than me at music, soooo I’m getting better lmao.

    Keep it up brother.

  5. Very cool and it really is amazing to understand what you know you feel but may not know why you feel it regarding certain types of cord progressions. I was even anticipating songs that had the chord progressions before you showed them in the video. Especially the last one the i:IV progression I knew there were going to be Pink Floyd songs in that batch but I really didnt notice just how many Floyd songs use that progression. As always thanks for the great videos I have really enjoyed them.

  6. Funny that the Beatles IV – V – I – vi example is so brief, i.e. NOT looping. They always knew to use the cheese carefully.

  7. I love the Dorian vamp and I’m not surprised that Breathe and Wish You Were Here were on here but I didn’t realize just how much Pink Floyd used it until after watching this video.

  8. Some more songs with the 1-4-5 vamp:
    Undone (The Sweater Song) by Weezer
    Beverly Hills by Weezer
    Stand by REM
    Twist and Shout by the Beatles/Isley Brothers
    La Bamba by Ritchie Valens
    The Joker by the Steve Miller Band
    Angel by Shaggy
    Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
    Midnight Memories by One Direction
    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles
    Tracks of My Tears by the Miracles
    Good Lovin’ by the Rascals
    Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

  9. I can’t wait to emulate Robbie Rotten’s musical genius.

    EDIT: something I wanted to point out about the Viva la Vida progression. It is very similar to _another_ chord progression you’ve covered before; the Royal Road progression. If you replace the tonic chord in the Viva progression with a mediant chord, you get Royal Road. Because of this, you could probably use these progression interchangeably, considering that the mediant chord has tonic quality as you explained in the Royal Road video.

  10. would you consider doing a video on instrumental solos? I’ve always wondered why they are added to songs, why some people enjoy them and some don’t, and why they have fallen out of vogue in popular music today

  11. It’s interesting seeing songs which are overtly entirely different and yet have the same chord progressions.

  12. Never thought I’d hear we are number one in a lesson about chord progressions.

    This video is definitely going down in history.

  13. In the area of I-IV-V chords, check out McCartney “Take It Away”, where the chorus loops on I – V – I – IV (unusual order, no? more people use I – IV – I – V).

  14. The theory is great, but I love hearing the examples and remembering all the great music I’ve forgotten about

  15. I tell people who slough off the idea of learning a little theory that they already have enough ear training to since an error during a performance. We’ve been listening to music all our lives that follow these rules.

  16. Ive seen these very suspiciously cheap donner products floating around on amazon and am always cautious not to buy them, can anyone say for sure in their own experience if its a “you get what you pay for” type situation? or are they actually a fair deal?

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