50 Plus Songs You Can Play With Only One Easy Chord Progression!

Published on November 8, 2018 by Dominik  |   0 comments

Ever dreamed about being able to play or accompany lots of songs without investing too much effort?
Well… here’s some pretty good news for you!

You may already know, that the majority of songs are based on certain chords. Think about someone strumming a row of chords on a guitar and singing along at the campfire.

In the musician’s vocabulary different chords played in succession is simply called ‘chord progression’.  And these chord progressions form the basis of each song.

💡Tip: A chord is typically two or more notes played together.
To understand better what chords are and how they are used in music, please refer to our previous blog post “Easy Piano Chords For Beginners”

There are countless possibilities of how to order chords in a of chord progression. However, there are some chord progressions that are much more used than others. I call them magic, because without much effort in playing, they simply sound beautiful.

One of these magic chord progression is the famous “50ies-chord progression”. This progression became wildly popular in the 50’s although it is being used just as much today. Therefore some refer to this progression as “50’s progression”.

To play the 50ies chord progression play these chords in succession.
C major – A minor – F major – G major.

Simply written:
C – Am – F – G

 

💡Tip: We have a prepared a lesson ready to learn the 50ies chord progression in our Scales & Chords course.

The list of songs you could play with this progression is very long as it is one of the standard progression of popular music.  
Here’s a short list just to name a few more:

  •   “Baby” – Justin Bieber
  •   “Mandy” – Barry Manilow
  •   “Million Reasons” – Lady Gaga
  •   “Please Mr. Postman” – The Marvelettes
  •  “Return To Sender” – Elvis Presley
  • “True Blue” – Madonna
  • “Blue Moon” – Richard Rogers
  • “Eternal Flame” – by The Bangles
  • “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
  • “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
  • “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Every Breath You Take” – by The Police
  • “You are not alone” – Michael Jackson
  • “Last Kiss” – Pearl Jam
  • “I’ve Just Seen a Face” – The Beatles

 

💡Tip: Once you feel good with this progression, try accompanying the song “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers from the Beginner Song Course. You can skip to the last step of the lesson in Skoove and just play along, to practice accompaniments.

This is a good start to practice the progression.

Another example:  “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King in Skoove’s Beginner Song Course – a super hit from the 60’s almost everyone knows.

Stand by me Chord Progression

 

1)   Play the chords where the symbols is written above the notation.  

2)   Play the chords every bar – remember, a bar without a symbol means play the last chord.

3)   Try a rhythmic variation like the following example or come up with your own ways!:

Progression Rhythm

 

Let’s try another song! “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran in Skoove’s Beginner Song Course :

 

Perfect Chord Progression

 

This time, try playing the chords on every dotted half-note, just as the bass notes do.

Now that you can play this famous progression in the key of C, it’s time to try it in another key.  

For example in G like in “Eternal Flame” – by The Bangles in Skoove’s intermediate Song Course

The basic principle for the fingering of each chord is the same as in the key of C and so are the movement itself.  

Eternal Flames Chords Progression
Eternal Flames

Get used to the new set of notes but see the similarity with the progression in C.

Another song you could try is “Every Breath You Take” – by The Police in Skoove’s Beginner Song Course

So, there we go… the magic 50ies chord progression.
I would LOVE to hear what you do with it. If you like to, send a link of your recording to music@skoove.com .

I hope this blog post was useful for you. Looking very forward to your comments.

Happy playing,
Dominik

 

About the author

Dominik Schirmer is the Director of Instrumental Teaching at Skoove.
He is an award-winning Jazz Pianist, composer, songwriter and member of the British Higher Education Academy.

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