Minor Progression: i - iv

Back before the internet, finding and meeting other musicians was a bit different. Most commonly, you would find people through your friends, at school or work, or at a jam at a nearby club. But, another way—especially to get out of your circle—was to post a classified ad in a newspaper or to post a flyer at a music store and hope someone calls you. Let me tell you, you would meet some really...umm...interesting people this way. And, there's no doubt, sometimes I was the strange one.

Unlike today where someone can send you a link to their original songs, back then you didn't know what you'd be walking into. You only talked to this person on the phone. They didn't snail mail you a cassette. Instead, you would show up at some stranger's home with your gear. They would play you their original songs, and you would learn them and create basslines to them on the spot. You would jam; you would see if you all fit together musically and personally. It was fun, and I recommend you do the modern day version of this. Just be safe and, you know, don't get kidnapped.

That Progression

Now, why am I reminiscing about this? Well, it seemed like half the time the people you would meet had written the same song! It used this minor key progression going back and forth between a i and iv chord. It's quite easy to play on guitar, and it's easy to sing melodies and play solos over. So, it's easy to see why you would run into it again and again.

And, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with this progression or songs written with it. It's fun and sounds good!

The i-iv Progression

This minor progression is a good way to hear the minor key center and to practice using some of your minor key diatonic chords. I've created a few exercises and added some song examples using the minor i-iv chord progression.

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