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Thread: I-IV-V Chords?

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    Default I-IV-V Chords?

    Hi Folks.

    So I've used the G-C-D chord patterns to get pretty good at mixing them up (2,3,4 finger versions). I enjoy cross picking between them as well just to play with various melodies.

    The three chords sound "right" together, and I've been told there are several other I-IV-V chord patterns I also should be getting to know on the mando that similarly have that major/comforting "feel." And some cool minor ones, too!

    If anyone can point a few of them out, and the 2,3, or 4 finger chordings for each that sounds best when played together and/or helps train one's left hand for changing chords, I'd be grateful!

    Thanks!
    John

  2. #2

    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    This aught to keep you busy...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_progression

    Using the I IV V vocabulary is a huge help looking in to this (also a good way to start adding chords to your vocabulary)

    Also: https://www.libertyparkmusic.com/com...-progressions/

    Another thing to look for is building I IV V chords on the chords you already have (some will be 2 - 3 finger chords, other not so much)

    I - IV - V
    G - C - D
    C - F - G
    D - G - A

    Then build from there

    also, user minor
    i - iv - v
    Gmin - Cmin - D min (etc)

    Good luck!

    C

    PS: find a good mandolin chord book as well... best way to find good chord voicings.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    The Circle of Fifths is a helpful tool to learn the I-IV-V relationships.
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Carl23 links to some studies, and Steve makes a point about the usefulness of the Circle of Fifths when you study chords. It is a good thing to learn to play the I-IV-V chords in all twelve keys. But at least you'll be learning them in whatever keys you like to play whichever songs in ...

    A cool thing about the circle of fifths is that with three "slices of the pie" in one place you can immediately see the I ii iii IV V and vi chords for any key! (and a bite off the next clockwise slice points to the diminished chord). It's a visual thing, so here are some visuals for you to see what we're getting at using the key you mentioned, G major:

    Circle of Fifths
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    Diatonic Harmony (Chords) in G major are highlighted
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pattern of Chord Numbers
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    1. The Circle of Fifths shows all twelve Major keys around the outside, with their twelve relative minor keys around the inside.
    2. Pick any Major key (in your own example, G major) as the root, or I chord. Right next to it, clockwise, is the name of the V chord. Counter-clockwise next to the root is the IV chord. This works for every key around the circle.
    3. The second and third images above show the relationships of the chords in those 3-1/2 slices of the pie, that belong to the key of G major.

    I think it is extremely helpful for any student of music to have a circle of fifths handy (I always have one on the wall) so he or she can find all the chords of a key at a glance. It's a great tool.
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    I find it helpful to study the I-IV-V chord patterns using three different three-string voicings (muting the E-string in all cases).

    Using the key of A as an example:

    The first I-IV-V on the mandolin (A-D-E) is:

    224x 245x 122x

    Here the first shape has the root on the G string. The second shape has the root on the A string and the third shape has the root on the D string.

    The next I-IV-V is:

    677x 779x 467x

    First shape is the same "root on D" shape. Second shape is the same "root on G" shape. Third shape is the same "root on A" shape.

    The next I-IV-V is:

    9|11|12|x 11|12|12|x 9|9|11|x

    Root on A shape first. Root on D shape next and Root on G shape last.

    The beauty of the mandolin is that the relationship of one chord shape to another never changes. If you fully understand this then you have all the I-IV-Vs.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    this discussion is making me think of a question (might be good for a new thread?)

    When learning the fret-board, beyond first position, do you start from chord shapes or note names?

    I started by laying out all of the note names for all frets up to the 14th fret. Then I mapped out common chords.
    This made the chord shapes obvious to me, and helped me use the chord shapes to find note names for the upper 3 strings (G string was my base for finding notes.) This is a bit of a "chicken and the egg" experience.

    I notice people use "A shape" and "D shape" as above. I have to translate this in my head (A shape = minor; root position, D shape = Major; third position)

    Does this make sense to anyone else?

    Carl

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Thanks to all, and especially Mark, for this great info.

    Why do the I-IV-V combination of chords -- or any notes played together within those chords -- sound so "right?"

    I better bone up on the circle!

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony

    Scroll down to Intervals and start reading. Much to digest.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Get a copy of The Chord Wheel
    Great book/pamphlet.
    10 bucks. Maybe 14.

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    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    We have a cheap clock in our practice room that I opened up and replaced the clock face numbers with the circle of fifths. It is very handy and we joke all the time about it getting close to Bb. Time to quit.

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Try adding a G7 (I) before going to the C (IV) G G7 C
    Substitute an Em for the G (relative minor being the 6th in G scale)

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Circle of 5th wheel for "4th graders" ordered!

    My education begins. All my 60 years, I've had a "mental block" with music theory. I desperately want to have a basic understanding of the language and be able to apply to getting more enjoyment from playing my mando. Yet I've never for some reason been able to reset my mind to be as open to the theory as a 10 year old and see it as something wonderful versus incomprehensible.

    My hope is that I'll be able to hear a favorite tune, and somehow use my ear and someday soon basic understanding of how finding the root can allow me to quickly figure out what 3-4 chords (and the notes they contain) can allow me to explore playing along on my mando!

    If anyone knows of an almost foolproof illustrated book that is for young children and does a great job on just the theory I should know going in, please let me know?

    Many thanks! Happy picking, everyone!
    John

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Here's my favorite. I learned a lot pretty painlessly.
    Edley's Music Theory For Practical People
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    This odd-shaped little book makes it pretty simple, IMO. I've given some of these out. Uses some illustrations.
    Music Theory Made Easy

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    And, on Amazon with look inside feature
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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  21. #15
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmeyers77 View Post
    Hi Folks.

    So I've used the G-C-D chord patterns to get pretty good at mixing them up (2,3,4 finger versions). I enjoy cross picking between them as well just to play with various melodies.

    The three chords sound "right" together, and I've been told there are several other I-IV-V chord patterns I also should be getting to know on the mando that similarly have that major/comforting "feel." And some cool minor ones, too!

    If anyone can point a few of them out, and the 2,3, or 4 finger chordings for each that sounds best when played together and/or helps train one's left hand for changing chords, I'd be grateful!

    Thanks!
    John
    John, going back to your original question, I think a resource that would be perfect for what you're asking (and wouldn't require studying music theory) is the two part Chord Triangulation lessons by Bradley Laird. You get a PDF with the chord charts and illustrations, quite a few play-along tracks, and video lessons that are very helpful and easy to understand. It will show you how to use a few basic chord shapes to play the I-IV-V in any key. You don't have to know what key a song is in ... or the "name" of the chords you're playing ... if you can play the I - IV - V in the key of G, then you can easily play along with the I-IV-V in any key on the fly after digesting Brad's method and materials in those two lessons.

    He also includes the IImajor, IIminor, VIminor and bVII chords (which often pop up in folk musical arrangements) within his simple finger board triangulation patterns. He presents this information in a logical way, demonstrates it on video, and of all the courses in my own library, this course is the one that goes straight to the original question. It touches lightly on the music theory, just enough to answer the original question you had.

    I just reviewed these, and felt I had to mention it here. The two-part series is affordable and can help you to be able to play the chords in a jam session regardless of the key, to find the I-IV-V as well as the II, ii, vi, bVII when necessary, without having to know the key or the chord names.

    I don't have any financial interest and I'm not connected to Brad's lessons in any way (other than that I am sometimes leading a study group on his eBook, Mandolin Master Class in The Woodshed social group here).

    If you might be interested, Brad sells these for $8 each here: http://www.bradleylaird.com/playthem...ngulation.html

    There are ways to get discounted prices by sharing on social media, and he sometimes offers discounts in his newsletter as well.

    I think it's a great idea to begin understanding some music theory, and to study and use the Circle of Fifths, and you should do that, but for your specific original question these two lessons are tailor made and do not require learning much other than the chord shapes and relative positions to use them in any key on the fly.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    This odd-shaped little book makes it pretty simple, IMO. I've given some of these out. Uses some illustrations.
    Music Theory Made Easy

    Name:  5f2f198417d1462f013a98722525885fd6dabf38.jpg
Views: 387
Size:  15.5 KB


    And, on Amazon with look inside feature
    Thanks for the pointer, my copy was waiting for me when I came home from my trip in the early hours of this morning. Hopefully will help me unravel the mystery of theory

  23. #17
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Like the late, great John McGann said and which I use for my signature, "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

    "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"~John McGann

    "IT'S T-R-E-M-O-L-O, dangit!!"~Me

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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmeyers77 View Post
    Thanks to all, and especially Mark, for this great info.

    Why do the I-IV-V combination of chords -- or any notes played together within those chords -- sound so "right?"

    I better bone up on the circle!
    When you harmonize the major scale, that is, play the three note chord (triad) with each scale note as the root, the only chords which are major are the I,IV and V. This should cause us to realize why they fit together so well.

    I did a little tutorial over at the Tele site. Here's a link. My stuff starts at the fourth post.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tab-tips-...rt-i-made.html
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

    "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"~John McGann

    "IT'S T-R-E-M-O-L-O, dangit!!"~Me

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  26. #19
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    That's a quick run through music theory starting with the major scale, Jim, which is the way I learned and the way I like to teach. I had to learn the definition of a major scale in fifth grade band class, and somehow it stuck with me. Knowing those intervals opened up more music theory to me in later years.

    You mention that in the diatonic harmony of a major key, "the only chords which are major are the I, IV and V" - if a person knows this, then they know what are the perfect intervals whether they realize it or not. Perfect Unison (I), Perfect Fourth (IV), Perfect Fifth (V) and Perfect Octave (VIII or I). From there, a short jump to the study of interval qualities (major, minor, perfect, diminished, augmented). It all goes together like well-constructed building.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  27. #20

    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Why do they sound good? I guess it's because if you go up the major scale, like on a the D scale, you get 3 chords that sound good:

    The first note is D, the D chord sounds good (I)
    The second note is E, E is part of the A chord so the A chord sounds good (V)
    The third note is F#, that's part of the D chord so the D chord again (I)
    The fourth note is G, that's part of the G chord so the G chord sounds good (IV)
    The fifth note is A, again the A chord (V)
    The 6th note is B, that's part of the G chord (IV)
    The 7th note is C#, that's part of the A chord (V)
    The 8th note is back to D again (I)

    I'm not a music theory person at all and even thinking about I IV V chords makes my head hurt, but I sorta figured this out trying to figure out the chords for Spotted Pony. It was like, oh, so that's why there are only 3 chords for most of these old-time tunes.

  28. #21
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Why do they sound good? I guess it's because if you go up the major scale, like on a the D scale, you get 3 chords that sound good:

    The first note is D, the D chord sounds good (I)
    The second note is E, E is part of the A chord so the A chord sounds good (V)
    The third note is F#, that's part of the D chord so the D chord again (I)
    The fourth note is G, that's part of the G chord so the G chord sounds good (IV)
    The fifth note is A, again the A chord (V)
    The 6th note is B, that's part of the G chord (IV)
    The 7th note is C#, that's part of the A chord (V)
    The 8th note is back to D again (I)

    I'm not a music theory person at all and even thinking about I IV V chords makes my head hurt, but I sorta figured this out trying to figure out the chords for Spotted Pony. It was like, oh, so that's why there are only 3 chords for most of these old-time tunes.
    Are you saying that Em, F#m, Bm and C#m7b5 don't sound good?
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

    "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"~John McGann

    "IT'S T-R-E-M-O-L-O, dangit!!"~Me

  29. #22
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    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Wow, Mark. I do believe you're correct. I'll order these ASAP!

    I like Brad's easy going style, and really benefit by seeing a teacher demonstrate as he does.

    Thanks for this tip.

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  31. #23

    Default Re: I-IV-V Chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Broyles View Post
    Are you saying that Em, F#m, Bm and C#m7b5 don't sound good?
    Did you miss the part about Spotted Pony?

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