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I IV V chord progression and V7

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(@tonedeaf)
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first off, let me say that i do not have the luxury of working with a guitar teacher (although i am currently lining one up) so all of what i have been learning, or trying to learn, has been from this site, watching video instruction, and occasionally practicing with a more accomplished guitarist... at times i hear things that confuse me and i have few outlets in which to pose questions and obtain answers...

i just finished reading tom's article, 'untangling chord progressions' and i have the following question based on a recurring, confusing concept...

when learning the I IV V chord progression, why is it sometimes that i see V7 being incorporated? or in the case of playing in the key of C; i see the C, F, G7 chords?


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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In the article I showed the scale harmonized in triads (V = major chord) and sevenths (V = V7 dominant). The dominant chord really must move somewhere, because it's got so much tension, and the logical place is down a fifth from V7 to I.

As a result, most songs will use V7 instead of V to exploit the tension and make a stronger cadence.

You'll see the same thing on chords other than V when they go down a fifth, particularly in blues. A 12-bar blues may start off:

I - I - I - I7 - IV - etc.

with the tonic played as a dominant 7th chord in the fourth measure. That adds tension, and makes the chord lean heavily down a fifth... to the IV chord, which is next in the progression.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@tonedeaf)
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so is it more of a cadence thing?


   
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(@geetar66)
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Hey Tom, read you article as well and enjoyed it...still reading the print out!

Right now, however, I'm at the simple, early stages of chord progressions and only really have a handle on the I-IV-V...now, if I'm correct, and let's take the key of C for our example...then the main chords I would be dealing with (theoretically), would be C, F & G major and D, E, A minor and the B would be diminished or something other than a maj or min, right?

I mean at the most basic level...is that the right foot to start on this path?

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(@noteboat)
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Yes on both counts... tonedeaf, it is a cadence thing. When you go I7-IV, it's an authentic cadence in the key of IV (the original I is the V of IV). This is the strongest resolution in music, so it's used most often - as V7-I, as I7-IV... you can even use it for odd things like VI7-ii and get away with it if you do it right!

geetar66, those are the chords you come up with harmonizing the major scale in triads. The I, IV, and V are used in thousands of songs that don't even have any of the others (and the viiº doesn't show up very often).

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@ricochet)
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Often the 7 chord's used on the I and IV as well as the V in blues.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@tonedeaf)
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ok... thanks, that helps


   
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