2- 5- 1 Chord Progression

In teaching my students over the years to play by ear and put aside their sheet music, we learn to play chord progressions. It is very important to learn music theory!
"If you listen to music, you've definitely heard a "2-5-1" progression. They are found in just about any type of music --- regardless of style, genre, or rhythmical pattern. It is commonly the series of chords that end a song or phrase. In this chord progression, the 2 chord leads to the 5 chord which in turn, produces a strong pull towards the ending chord (which is usually the 1st major chord of the scale)". For more info on this progression

Perhaps, yes I think I will post the rest of the article here because I refer to it often to help others.
"Let me start by showing you what chords correspond to each tone of a major scale:
1 tone - Major
2 tone - minor
3 tone - minor
4 tone - Major
5 tone - Major (dominant)
6 tone - minor
7 tone - Half Diminished
To understand the chart above, you must understand that each tone of a major scale has a chord that goes along with it. For example, the following is a C major scale:
(C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- A -- B -- C)
Each tone above has a matching chord. Simply add the endings of the chart above to the scale as shown below:
>C MAJOR< >D MINOR< >E MINOR< >F MAJOR< >G MAJOR / DOM< >A MINOR< >B HALF-DIMINISHED< href="http://www.hearandplay.com/at.cgi/441295">
Learn to Play the Piano By Ear
On page 185, you'll be able to study the 2 5 1 chord progression.
To further understand progressions, lets number each chord:
1 = C Major
2 = D minor
3 = E minor
4 = F Major
5 = G dominant
6 = A minor
7 = B half - diminished
8 = C Major
Now, to create a "2-5-1" chord progression (or any numbered chord progression), simply take the 2, 5, and 1 chord out of the entire series of chords above. That is, we would not use the 3,4, 6, or 7th chord.
The 2 chord is D minor; the 5 chord is G dominant; and the 1 chord is C Major.
Here is the most basic "2-5-1" chord progression:
Dmin --- Gdom --- Cmaj
min = minor
dom = dominant
Maj = major
D minor chord = (D) + (F) + (A)
G dominant chord = (G) + (B) + (D) + (F)
C Major chord = (C) + (E) + (G)
Example: To play a D minor chord simply play all three of the notes shown above at the same time (D+F+A)
If you want to learn Churchy 2-5-1 Chord Progressions, and Contemporary 2-5-1 Chord Progression, you'll be stretching your fingers and adding the ninth tone!
Play Shouting Music Today!

Progressions are just a way to get the harmony to support the melody. In any key if your melody sticks to the key you are in:
I chord will harmonize three notes, V chord will harmonize two additional notes and the IV chord will harmonize the remaining two notes. So the I IV V chords will harmonize every note in a given melody providing it stays in key.
You can replace the 2 chord for the 4 chord. So now we get the 2 5 1. You can expand the one chord if you are sitting on it for a while
and can play different bass notes under to help create motion. That is where we get the 1 3 6 2 5 1.
The 6 chord and the 3 chord fill in for the 1 chord. And the 7 fills in for the 5 chord. The 6 chord can also lead to the 4 chord. All this may seem confusing but it all starts with the one chord, the 5 chord and the 4r chord.
If you just use these three chords you can play with most songs.
When you get more advance you can use the 2 5 1 as a little intro to each new chord you will play. So to introduce the one chord you play 2 5 and then 1. When you want to go to the four chord, you introduce it by playing a 2 5 1 in the key of the 4 chord.
So, if you were in the key of C and you want to go to the F, you introduce the F by playing G min7, C7 and Fmaj (2 5 1)
So, now you have it! 2 5 1 are derived from 4 5 1 and they have over time become embellishments and static chords to rest on to support the melody.
Jermaine Griggs, the founder of Hear and Play, offers a 2 5 1 chord progression lesson here:

While you're learning about progressions, why not take the opportunity to join one of the fastest growing on-line musician's community on the net? It's free to join. You'll be greeted by many fellow musicians who are learning to play piano by ear. I sincerely hope you'll join us!


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