Show me the 154 (chord progression).
June 13, 2014 5:03 AM   Subscribe

Recently I heard Gotta Get Away by the Black Keys. And it took me a couple days to identify Ball and Chain by Social Distortion as the song it sounded like. My resident musician tells me this is a simple 154 chord progression and pointed me to Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones. Got any others?

I don't think it's *only* the chord progression, but also the melody? In any case, I really dig the first two songs ("Broken Flowers" less), and I figured MeFi would know more like it. So whatcha got?
posted by Glinn to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Slight sidetrack - usually in this kind of context chords are written with Roman numerals. This progression is usually written I-V-IV, so if you're googling stuff you might have better luck with that.
posted by spielzebub at 5:23 AM on June 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

There's some arguing and trolling here but they're talking about the same progression.

You might also be interested in I-V-vi-IV songs. (The "vi" (6) is lower-case because it's minor - not always, but in this particular progression).

You're right that there's more to it than the progression - just in the first few bars there's similar instrumentation and guitar strum pattern.
posted by bunderful at 6:13 AM on June 13, 2014

Well, there is this If you include going back up to the V.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:45 AM on June 13, 2014

Do you know much about chord theory? Within the major scale, the associated chords are I ii iii IV V vi vii(dim). Most pop punk uses just the I IV and V chords, but will occasionally throw in the ii. So any song with G D C as the progression will fit your demands, which is like 80% of Tom Petty's catalog (I kid I kid) or were you specifically looking for blues?
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:51 AM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

It sounds like the OP is looking specifically for the progression that consists of a I chord, then a V chord, then a IV chord, in that order.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:36 AM on June 13, 2014

"It sounds like the OP is looking specifically for the progression that consists of a I chord, then a V chord, then a IV chord, in that order"

Actually, no, the three linked songs contain resolving back up to the V chord or back to the I, giving a I V IV V progression or I V IV I, which, as I linked above, it the most common chord progression known to man. Around 23,947 different songs written from Buddy Holly up to Black Keys are in this progression.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 9:09 AM on June 13, 2014

Ah, the roman numerals will probably help. And no, I know nothing about chord theory or anything related. Thanks much for all the help. Tom Petty, blues, anything. (Listening to any linked songs will have to wait til I get home from work tho.)
posted by Glinn at 9:11 AM on June 13, 2014

The Who - Baba O'Riley uses exactly the I V IV progression.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:19 AM on June 13, 2014

Quick note - in pop punk the vi is much, much more common than the ii. The aforementioned I V vi IV pattern makes up a stupendous amount of pop punk.
posted by ominous_paws at 9:27 AM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oops, yeah, green day basically exists because of the vi (when I come around et al) sequence.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 9:58 AM on June 13, 2014

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