Spicing Up The V To I Chord Progression

What is the most used chord progression in the whole history of music? A case can be made for the movement from the V to I chord of the key.

It became so cliche' that some musicians are now actually trying to AVOID it, even if it keeps popping up in their music.

This chord progression is G7 to C in the key of C major and G7 to Cm in the key of C minor.

What happens if, instead of avoiding it, we embrace the cliche' and we try to make it better? Well, as it happens in 300+ years of music theory some people have found a few variations of this chord progression that actually sound really cool.

In this video we learn together some of the simplest and best sounding variations of the V to I progression, in both major and minor.

By the way, clearly this video just scratches the surface of what is possible - there are many more variations that one can play on these very same chords.

Some variations are possible also for other chord progressions. For instance if instead than V to I we focus on the progression I to IV, then there different and interesting possibilities too, as you can see in the video below.

And of course, you can combine the ideas in the video above and in the video below to make even a plain I IV V chord progression sound special and unique.

Have fun!

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio