Chord Progressions

Every major and minor key contains both major and minor chords. To identify which major and minor chords can be used to build chord progressions we look at the scale degrees – the order of the chords.

In major keys, the order of chords is denoted by the pattern ‘I – ii – iii – IV – V – vi – vii
°’. These are called scale degrees. Capitalised Roman numerals refer to major chords, while lowercase Roman numerals refer to minor chords.

C major scale:

From the C major scale, we see that the diatonic chords in this key are: 'C – Dm – Em – F – G – Am – B
°'. A chord progression that is commonly used is ‘I – V – vi – IV’. In the key of C major, this translates to the chord progression ‘C – G – Am – F’.

In minor scales, the order of chords is denoted as ‘i – ii° - III – iv – v – VI – VII’. Therefore, the chords in the C minor scale are: ‘Cm – D° - Eb – Fm – Gm – Ab – Bb’.

Example Chord Progressions in C major:

Example Chord Progressions in C minor:

Are you ready to learn more about music and music theory? Feel free to check out our Songwriter's Pack, which contains everything to help you integrate music theory into your playing!

Comments 0

Share your thoughts!

Please note that comments will be visible after they are approved.

Theory Products

Shop all of our music theory products.

Wheel of Fifths Songwriting Tool

Wheel of Fifths Songwriting Tool

CHF 17.95

Songwriter's Pack (Save 18%)

Songwriter's Pack (Save 18%)

CHF 34.95

Everything Pack (Save 18%)

Everything Pack (Save 18%)

CHF 99.95