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Creating Music with Chord Progressions

By Michael Pilhofer, Holly Day

Part of Music Theory For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A chord progression is a group of chords that you use to create music. Some chord progressions just sound better than others, so it pays to experiment. The following table, which shows commonly used major-key chords and the other chords they often lead to, can help you in deciding which chords will come next in your compositions.

Chord Leads To
I Can appear anywhere and lead anywhere
ii I, V, or vii° chords
iii I, IV, or vi chords
IV I, ii, V, or vii° chords
V I, vi chords
vi I, ii, iii, IV, or V chords
vii° I chord