• Who Else Wants To Learn The Famous Amen Cadence?

    in Chords & Progressions,Piano

    A cadence is a chord progression that pretty much ends a song, verse, phrase, or section — today, the Amen cadence.

    Amen Cadence & Others

    Don’t let the “Amen” fool ya. This isn’t just a churchy progression. Its technical name is the “Plagal” cadence but since it uses the same chords as “Amen” (what you would hear a church sing at the end of a hymn or scripture), it gets the nickname “Amen” cadence.

    There are other cadences like the:

    Authentic cadence (when the 5-chord resolves to the 1-chord).

    Half cadence (any cadence ending on the 5-chord… sounds incomplete — usually in the middle of most songs, which leads to repeating the verse… which leads to a real ending).

    Deceptive cadence (when the 5-chord resolves to any other degree EXCEPT for the 1-chord — usually it goes to the 6-chord). Eventually, the song will end but this is a way to keep a song going at the end. And at some point, the song will end usually with a typical authentic cadence (5 to 1).

    Amen Cadence Explored

    But today, we’re talking about the Amen cadence, which uses the 4-chord to the 1-chord.

    The most basic Amen cadence in C major is:

    F major >>> C major

    A Better Amen Cadence Option

    To create an even stronger progression, you can employ the suspended chord we recently covered in this lesson.


    C major

    Another option is to keep your left-hand bass on C. This makes the chord a Csus4..

    And just move one note (F to E) to get to your C major chord:

    Another point to make is sus4 and sus2 chords are inversions of each other.

    For example, this is a Csus4:

    However, if you simply take the C off the bottom and move to the top, you get Fsus2:

    Where can you apply the Amen cadence?

    Usually at the end of songs.

    The song “Hallelujah” is a perfect example. The lyrics aren’t hard at all… just 4 “hallelujahs”… but on the last hallelujah, you can use the amen cadence:



    Here’s an example of the song Hallelujah being played in my new Song Learning software, “The Song Robot.” Check it out:

    For more information on the Song Robot program, click here.

    So there you have it — the amen cadence… yet another tool to add to your playing!

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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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    { 8 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Jermaine Griggs

    Song robot update


    2 randall

    it’s funny. i’ve been using this cadence in my song and didn’t realize it was an “official” thing. the good part is, thanks to this quick tip, now i have many new ways to play it. thank you very much. i’m glad i found you…randall


    3 randall

    there is something else. i am an admitted “key plunker.” but, i am also a hunter. i poke around with chord progressions until i find a combination that i like and then figure out what “numbers” i am in an translate it to the different keys. needless to say, i have quite a number of unfinished pieces. i’m now very confident that i will find the “tie that binds” and come up with a beautiful new hymn…. thanks again….randall


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    5 atasi kegalauan

    We stumbled over here coming from a different page and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page again.


    6 fkawau

    This is the rectify Amen Cadence – How to play it (real examples) | Hear and Play Music Learning Center diary for anyone who wants to seek out out around this substance. You asking so much its near tiring to reason with you (not that I rattling would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new stunting on a message thats been backhand roughly for years. Precise nonsense, just majuscule!


    7 Business Cards Derry

    enlightening Here’s a link for your ideas


    8 mey

    Oh I thought the amen cadence used a 4-minor chord to transition from 4 major to 1 major
    Some churches i have attended often use this progression. .


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