7 super common chord progressions and why they work

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You can listen to my own initial music on my Spotify:.

Some chord progressions are just so excellent therefore reliable that they get utilized time and time once again, so let's today have a look at 7 of the most frequently utilized chord developments and perhaps shine a little light on why they work so well.

Axis of Amazing 4 chord tune:.

And, an extra special thanks goes to Douglas Lind, Vidad Flowers, Ivan Pang, Waylon Fairbanks, Jon Dye, Austin Russell, Christopher Ryan, Toot & Paul Peijzel, the channel's Patreon saints!.


0:00 Introduction.
0:22 the Axis Progression.
3:46 the OTHER Axis Progression.
6:29 the Andalusian .
8:32 the Aeolian .
11:05 the Doo-wop changes.
14:22 the Significant Scale .
16:38 the Mixolydian vamp.

7 super and why they work

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    1. @David Bennett Piano ooh ok personally i prefer waffles but i respect your opinion 🧇🧇🧇

    2. @David Bennett Piano I’ve always found it easy to figure out what chords singularly are being played, but recognizing the entire chord progression itself as it’s own “color” is far more efficient. Giving names to all of these familiar sounds is helping my ear training a lot.
      Thank you David !! 😊

    3. @Nether Creature : It’s just mean to ask that question in the first place. 💔😭


  1. It’s incredible that you can use Beatles music in almost every music theory video!

    1. It’s IMPERATIVE that you use Beatles music in almost every music theory video!

    2. The Beatles did so much, so classical composers at the time, really thought they would great.

    3. @David Bennett Piano It’s easy if you try. It isn’t hard to do. I wonder if you can.

  2. This is a great video. I think it will be extremely useful to music theory beginners who just need some examples to make the concepts really click. One chord progression I am very surprised you didn’t include is the classic country chord progression (I IV I V). It’s wonderful writing ground, and I think that most people could identify it pretty quickly, even if they aren’t familiar with music theory or composition.

  3. There’s also one established progression and it’s gotten a bit of a resurgence in recent releases which is the ii-IV-I-V (and it’s rotational variant I-V-ii-IV).
    Excellent video, by the way!

    1. I-V-ii-IV will always be the Closing Time progression to me, no matter how many times Taylor Swift uses it

    2. Just Like Heaven uses that I-V-ii-IV as well. One of my favorites of all time

    3. I remember the rotational variant as being All Star by Smash Mouth and the other one as the verse of Feel So Close by Calvin Harris.

    4. @Johan Lindbäck I’d say mad world is more of i – IIIb – VIIb – IV, because F minor feels like the tonic to me.

  4. This is such a great video. You don’t just list of the most used chords. You also give examples and tell us what we feel in this chord and why.

    1. I’ll second that! Why did “San Francisco” surprise me ? Brilliant video David, bravo !!!

  5. You listened to my Andalusian cadence idea!! Great! Thanks! In practical songwriting, I’ve always found this pattern based way of think about theory is very useful. The audience should gain a lot from this.(just stay away from the I-III-IV, though, that one is lawsuit city😁)

  6. I will watch this video , superbly well made, many times David. Chord progressions, indescribably beautiful. So enjoyable ! Alan

  7. Greetings from the Andalusian, Southern regions of Spain! Great video as always, but now I have one question: what would you say are some unusual chord progressions used in pop music that shouldn’t have worked but astonishingly worked great?

    1. @David Bennett Piano Trying to make up for the lack of Radiohead in this one? 😉

    2. @gwalla haha, Radiohead come up with some cracking chord sequences that shouldn’t work but sound great.

    3. @David Bennett Piano David, something you may not have heard but uses odd chord sequences is various songs of Fantastic Planet by Failure. There’s also Nirvana – In Bloom is a good example

    4. @JDODify I agree. In Bloom is a great example. I would add Norwegian Wood’s use of D major directly into D minor. I know The Beatles used parallel keys (modal mixture) a lot, but usually with some sort of pivot chord. The direct transition is abrupt but somehow works great.

  8. This covers it nicely. Maybe another example might be any chord progression that revolves around Am, Dm, and E7. I feel like a lot of R&B over the last 20 years, especially in the 2000s, used those chords.

  9. Oh, that was just absolutely brilliant. I can’t believe all that had just passed me by all the years I’ve been playing. These videos are fantastic, David – thanks very much indeed.

  10. That piano piece you played at the end over the Patreon names really gave me a Sims 1 OST vibe – a warm sound with just a single piano playing.

    Not sure if it was intentional or not, but it sounded great! Love your videos and look forward to the next one!

  11. Great video as ever. You’ve inadvertently summarised why I like some songs and not others, based on their progressions!

  12. The Mixolydian vamp is why I always say that harmonically, mixolydian is wayyyy brighter and happier sounding than Ionian major. Every song that uses that progression makes me feel dreamy and happy.

  13. ‘Let It Be’ is probably the perfect example to use at 2:48, as its words mirror its chord progression perfectly as based on your explanation:
    I – ‘When I find myself’ – Something incomplete. It could be the whole story, but that would be incredibly boring.
    V – ‘in times of trouble’ – The introduction of tension.
    vi – ‘Mother Mary’ – A partial resolution, but still something incomplete.
    IV – ‘comes to me’ – A total and complete resolution of the idea that leads perfectly into the next phrase.

  14. many people often try to frame common chord progressions like they’re automatically bad because they’re common, and i think it’s great that this video doesn’t do that. these progressions are common for a reason

  15. LOVE the Mixolydian Vamp. I’ve always been calling it “the one flat seven four progression”. Thanks for putting a name to that!

  16. I was surprised that you didn’t include the Pachebel Canon progression. You can hear it or (something close to it) in Green Day’s “Basket Case,” Blues Traveler’s “Hook,” Fastball’s “The Way,” Oasis’s “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” Spacehog’s “2nd Avenue” and a bunch of others.

    1. Actually I was surprised David stayed from the 1950’s and forward. I kept expecting music from further back to pop up to show that Musical Generations ARE connected to each other. Personally I think he lost a great chance to show that.

  17. I would call the Myxolidian vamp the Stadium Anthem Vamp, judging from the songs you used as an example. Great video, gives a lot of insight, thanks!

  18. Love this. Always enjoyed the ‘study’ of chord progressions and identifying them myself. I predicted a lot of your examples prior to them playing. 🙂 I always think it’s amazing too how these underpin SO MANY different songs, yet many can sound so different despite having the same backbone.

  19. Dude that’s so interesting! Fascinating how all the songs with the same chord progressions are so different on the surface but actually sound pretty similar when you pay attention

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