• “1-4” chord progressions you can use!

    in Chords & Progressions

    The 1-4 chord progression is one of the most commonly used progressions in gospel and blues music. In our 300-pg course, we cover several ways to play 1-4 chord progressions.

    In this lesson, I will show you a couple of ways to transition from a 1 chord to a 4 chord. These techniques are taken from pages 292 and 293 out of my 300-pg course

    1) Adding a Vmin9 — I 9 / 6 Chord Progression:

    This progression can always lead to the IV chord. I play it all the time! In C major, this progression is: Cmaj – Gmin9 – C9 / 6 – F9

    Don’t worry about all the terminology like C9 / 6 as this is covered in our workbook. Below, you will find the notes of each of the chords.


    Cmaj = C + E + G
    Gmin9 = F + A + Bb + D
    C9/ 6 = E + A + Bb + D
    F9 = Eb + G + A + C

    Now … try playing them giving the Cmaj and F9 twice the amount of duration than the Gmin9 and C9 / 6 (pronounced “C minor nine with added 6th”).

    Cmaj Gmin9 C9/6 F9

    How did it sound? If it worked out for you, try adding it to some of your songs when you need to transition from any 1 chord (like Cmaj) to a 4 chord (like Fmaj) … that is, just simply add a Gmin9 –> C9/6. And don’t forget, the only REAL difference between the Gmin9 and C9 / 6 chord is the lowered F to E.

    For more information on these types of chord progressions, check out my 300-pg “The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear!” at https://www.hearandplay.com/course or https://www.hearandplay.com/ordernow.html

    2) Add a IV#9 right before the IV chord:

    If the IV chord is a dom9 chord, then simply add the dom9 chord a half step higher to create a IV# 9 — IV 9 progression. This sounds great in blues and gospel music! For example, in C major, this is: C9 – F#9 – F9


    C9 = Bb + D + E + G (this chord is inverted so that Bb is on the bottom)

    F#9 = E + G# + A# + C#

    F9 = Eb + G + A + C

    … Try it!

    C9 F#9 F9

    >>> These two progressions can be used when you are in a situation that requires a fill-in between a C7 or C9 and an F7 or F9 (or any 1-4 relationship in another key). For more fills and progressions like the ones above, visit: http://www.https://www.hearandplay.com/course

    This concludes this month’s lesson on “1-4 Chord Progressions.”

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    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

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