Common Piano Chord Progressions

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In this lesson we will learn common piano chord progressions in every key, major and minor. (This is actually applicable to any chording instrument, including guitar and organ.)

Let’s start with major keys.

Roman numerals indicate each chord’s position relative to the scale. For instance, for the C major scale, C D E F G A B C, the roman numerals are I ii iii IV V vi vii°. Here’s a diagram which matches the roman numerals to the notes of the scale. Roman numerals major scale.

To learn more about chords and progressions, check out my course, Piano Chords: How To Form Basic Chords On Piano And Keyboard.

Chord I is a major chord, chord ii is a minor chord, iii is minor, IV is major, V is major, vi is minor and vii° is a diminished chord. In the C major key this would give us the chords, C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor and B diminished.

Common piano chord progressions in major keys include the following: 

  • I – IV – V 
  • I – vi – IV – V 
  • ii – V – I 

In the key of C major this would give us the following chords:

  • I – IV – V (C – F- G)
  • I – vi – IV – V (C – Am – F – G)
  • ii – V – I (Dm7 – G7 – Cmaj7)

Key of C Sharp Major:

  • I – IV – V (C# – F# – G#)
  • I – vi – IV – V (C# – A#m – F# – G#)
  • ii – V – I (D#m7 – G#7 – C#maj7)

Key of D Flat Major:

  • I – IV – V (Db – Gb – Ab)
  • I – vi – IV – V (Db – Bbm – Gb – Ab)
  • ii – V – I (Ebm7 – Ab7 – Dbmaj7)

Key of D Major:

  • I – IV – V (D – G- A)
  • I – vi – IV – V (D – Bm – G – A)
  • ii – V – I (Em7 – A7 – Dmaj7)

Key of E Flat Major:

  • I – IV – V (Eb – Ab – Bb)
  • I – vi – IV – V (Eb – Cm – Ab – Bb)
  • ii – V – I (Fm7 – Bb7 – Ebmaj7)

Piano Chord Progressions In The Key of E Major:

  • I – IV – V (E – A – B)
  • I – vi – IV – V (E – C#m – A – B)
  • ii – V – I (F#m7 – B7 – Emaj7)

Roman numerals system in music theory, chord progressions

Key Of F Major

  • I – IV – V (F – Bb- C)
  • I – vi – IV – V (F – Dm – Bb – C)
  • ii – V – I (Gm7 – C7 – Fmaj7)

Key of F Sharp Major:

  • I – IV – V (F# – B- C#)
  • I – vi – IV – V (F# – D#m – B – C#)
  • ii – V – I (G#m7 – C#7 – F#maj7)

Key of G Flat Major:

  • I – IV – V (Gb – Cb- Db)
  • I – vi – IV – V (Gb – Ebm – Cb – Db)
  • ii – V – I (Abm7 – Db7 – Gbmaj7)

Key of G Major

  • I – IV – V (G – C- D)
  • I – vi – IV – V (G – Em – C – D)
  • ii – V – I (Am7 – D7 – Gmaj7)

Key of A flat Major:

  • I – IV – V (Ab – Db- Eb)
  • I – vi – IV – V (Ab – Fm – Db – Eb)
  • ii – V – I (Bbm7 – Eb7 – Abmaj7)

Key of A Major:

  • I – IV – V (A – D – E)
  • I – vi – IV – V (A – F#m – D – E)
  • ii – V – I (Bm7 – E7 – Amaj7)

Key of Bb Major:

  • I – IV – V (Bb – Eb – F)
  • I – vi – IV – V (Bb – Gm – Eb – F)
  • ii – V – I (Cm7 – F7 – Bbmaj7)

Key of B Major Piano Chord Progressions:

  • I – IV – V (B – E- F#)
  • I – vi – IV – V (B – G#m – E – F#)
  • ii – V – I (C#m7 – F#7 – Bmaj7)

The following diagram includes other popular chord progressions in major keys:

Piano chord progressions, major keys

Piano Chord Progressions In Minor Keys

Let’s now move on to minor keys.

The sequence of chords for the minor scale is minor diminished major minor minor major major. For example, in the key of A minor, the scale is A B C D E F G and the sequence of chords is A minor, B diminished, C major, D minor, E minor, F major, and G major.

Roman numerals indicate the position of notes in the minor scale. They are i ii° III iv v VI VII. Small letters represent notes, 1, 2, 4 and 5, while capital letters represent notes, 3, 6 and 7.

Here’s a diagram which matches the roman numerals to the notes of the A minor scale. Roman numerals minor scale

Chord i is a minor chord, chord ii° is a diminished chord, III is major, iv is minor, v is minor, VI is major and VII is a major chord. In the key of A minor this would give us the chords, A minor, B diminished, C major, D minor, E minor, F major and G major.

Let’s take a look at common piano chord progressions in minor keys. They are as follows:

  • i – VI – VII 
  • i – iv – VII 
  • i – iv – v 
  • i – VI – III – VII 
  • ii – v – i 

We will start with the key of A minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Am – F – G)
  • i – iv – VII (Am – Dm – G)
  • i – iv – v (Am – Dm – Em)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Am – F – C – G)
  • ii – v – i (Bm7b5 – Em – Am)

Key of A Sharp Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (A#m – F# – G#)
  • i – iv – VII (A#m – D#m – G#)
  • i – iv – v (A#m – D#m – E#m)
  • i – VI – III – VII (A#m – F# – C# – G#)
  • ii – v – i (B#m7b5 – E#m – A#m)

Key of B Flat Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Bbm – Gb – Ab)
  • i – iv – VII (Bbm – Ebm – Ab)
  • i – iv – v (Bbm – Ebm – Fm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Bbm – Gb – Db – Ab)
  • ii – v – i (Cm7b5 – Fm – Bbm)

Common Piano Chord Progressions in the Key of B minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Bm – G – A)
  • i – iv – VII (Bm – Em – A)
  • i – iv – v (Bm – Em – F#m)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Bm – G – D – A)
  • ii – v – i (C#m7b5 – F#m – Bm)

Key of C Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Cm – Ab – Bb)
  • i – iv – VII (Cm – Fm – Bb)
  • i – iv – v (Cm – Fm – Gm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Cm – Ab – Eb – Bb)
  • ii – v – i (Dm7b5 – Gm – Cm)

Key Of C Sharp Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (C#m – A – B)
  • i – iv – VII (C#m – F#m – B)
  • i – iv – v (C#m – F#m – G#m)
  • i – VI – III – VII (C#m – A – E – B)
  • ii – v – i (D#m7b5 – G#m – C#m)

Key of D Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Dm – Bb – C)
  • i – iv – VII (Dm – Gm – C)
  • i – iv – v (Dm – Gm – Am)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Dm – Bb – F – C)
  • ii – v – i (Em7b5 – Am – Dm)

Key of D Sharp Minor Piano Chord Progressions:

  • i – VI – VII (D#m – B – C#)
  • i – iv – VII (D#m – G#m – C#)
  • i – iv – v (D#m – G#m – A#m)
  • i – VI – III – VII (D#m – B – F# – C#)
  • ii – v – i (E#m7b5 – A#m – D#m)

Key of E Flat Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Ebm – Cb – Db)
  • i – iv – VII (Ebm – Abm – Db)
  • i – iv – v (Ebm – Abm – Bbm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Ebm – Cb – Gb – Db)
  • ii – v – i (Fm7b5 – Bbm – Ebm)

Key of E Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Em – C – D)
  • i – iv – VII (Em – Am – D)
  • i – iv – v (Em – Am – Bm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Em – C – G – D)
  • ii – v – i (F#m7b5 – Bm – Em)

Key of F Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Fm – Db – Eb)
  • i – iv – VII (Fm – Bbm – Eb)
  • i – iv – v (Fm – Bbm – Cm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Fm – Db – Ab – Eb)
  • ii – v – i (Gm7b5 – Cm – Fm)

Piano chord progressions In The Key of F Sharp Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (F#m – D – E)
  • i – iv – VII (F#m – Bm – E)
  • i – iv – v (F#m – Bm – C#m)
  • i – VI – III – VII (F#m – D – A – E)
  • ii – v – i (G#m7b5 – C#m – F#m)

Key of G Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Gm – Eb – F)
  • i – iv – VII (Gm – Cm – F)
  • i – iv – v (Gm – Cm – Dm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Gm – Eb – Bb – F)
  • ii – v – i (Am7b5 – Dm – Gm)

Key of G sharp Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (G#m – E – F#)
  • i – iv – VII (G#m – C#m – F#)
  • i – iv – v (G#m – C#m – D#m)
  • i – VI – III – VII (G#m – E – B – F#)
  • ii – v – i (A#m7b5 – D#m – G#m)

Key of Ab Minor:

  • i – VI – VII (Abm – Fb – Gb)
  • i – iv – VII (Abm – Dbm – Gb)
  • i – iv – v (Abm – Dbm – Ebm)
  • i – VI – III – VII (Abm – Fb – Cb – Gb)
  • ii – v – i (Bbm7b5 – Ebm – Abm)

The following diagram includes other popular piano chord progressions in minor keys. Piano chord progressions in minor keys.

11 Common Chord Progressions

The following are 11 common chord progressions in the keys of C major and A minor, as well as the titles of hit songs which make use of them.

  1. I – V -vi – IV – (C – G – Am – F) – With Or Without You – U2
  2. i – bVI – III – bVII (Am – F – C – G) – What If God Were One Of Us – Joan Osborn
  3. I – IV – V – I (C – F – G – C) – Lay Down Sally – Eric Clapton
  4. I – vi – IV – V (C – Am – F – G) – Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  5. I – IV – ii – V (C – F – Dm – G) – Run Around – Blues Traveller
  6. I – IV – I – V (C – F – C – G) – Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  7. I – iii – IV – V (C – Em – F – G) – The Weight – The Band
  8. I – ii – iii – IV – V (C – Dm – Em – F – G(x4) – Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
  9. i – V – i – iv (Am – E – Am – Dm) – Black Magic Woman – Santana
  10. i – bVI – iv – bVII  (Am – F – Dm – G) – Mr Jones – Counting Crows
  11. I – V- vi – iii (C – G – Am – Em)  IV – I – ii – V (F – C – Dm – G) – Pachelbel’s Canon – Johan Pachelbel

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