For some time I’d been meaning to compile a list of songs that have employed the very catchy I-V-VIm-IV chord progression. The most common are:
C – G – Am – F
D – A – Bm – G
A – E – F#m – D
G – D – Em – C
E – B – C#m – A
The Australian comedy group Axis of Awesome did a video on this chord progression that’s a hoot. They’ve only covered 30+ songs in this but the next time you listen to the radio, look out for the progression in play.
From the top of my head, other songs that have used this progression at one point or wholly: ‘Head Over Heels: Alanis Morissette’, ‘When I Go Around: Green Day’ ‘No Woman No Cry: Bob Marley’, ‘Since You’ve Been Gone: Rainbow’ etc etc.
How can you write your own hits with this progression? My advice: Play with different beats and let a clean melodic bass line guide you: for example – “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” or “With or Without You” etc etc.
The rest, you will find your own way. BTW, whatever the title of this post says, if you think knowing a certain chord progression(s) is half the battle won, you are smoking it pretty often.
Video updated to one of their most recent performances.
Similar post: How To Use Chord Association To Write Music.