Basic Progressions (Part One)



I have learned so much about progressions from other musicians and I am truly grateful for their input and help. Once you learn your chords then you can connect them together and the particular progression becomes a song.




A progression is simply a group of two or more chords. Each chord you play leads to the next chord. The goal is to get back to the I chord of the key you are in.




Progressions get their name from the bass/left hand notes you play. This is based on the Circle of 5ths. Here are some progressions that others have shared with me in that are used the most in gospel music. Here they are in the Key of C.

Remember, the numbers of C:
C=1 D=2 E=3 F=4 G=5 A=6 B=7


1-5-1 Progression

This progressions is usually found at the end of the song. Once you play the 5, you should feel a strong urge to go to the 1 chord.

C/CEG (1)
C/CEG (1)
C/EGC (1)
C/GCE (1)
G/GBD (5)
G/BDG (5)
G/DGB (5)
G/GBD (5)

1-V7-1 Progression

Here is a little variation of the 1-5-1 progression. By adding in the minor 7th, it creates an even stronger urge to go to the 1. So, you don't add the 7th of the key you are in, you add the 7th of the chord. the V7 chord id the dominant 7th chord:

C/CEG (1)
C/CEG (1)
C/EGC (1)
G/GBDF (5)
G/BDFG (5)
G/DFGB (5)


C/GCE (1)
C/GCE (1)
G/FGBD (5)
G/GBDF (5)


1-4-1 Progression (The "Amen" Progression)


C/CEG (1)
C/CEG (1)
C/EGC (1)
C/GCE (1)
F/FAC (4)
F/CFA (4)
F/FAC (4)
F/ACF (4)


1-4-5-1 Progression


This is the most basic progression that can be used for playing a whole song. Lots of hymns follow this progression:


C/CEG (1)
C/CEG (1)
C/EGC (1)
C/GCE (1)
F/FAC (4)
F/CFA (4)
F/FAC (4)
F/ACF (4)
G/GBD (5)
G/BDG (5)
G/DGB (5)
G/GBD (5)


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See you next time,


-- LadyD
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