I – IV – V Chord Number System

The three strongest and most important chords within a key, sometimes called “tonic” sub-dominant” & “dominant” (in Classical Music).  These chords within a key are the basis for 90% of ALL music, from Classical to Heavy metal and beyond!

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2 Responses to I – IV – V Chord Number System

  1. fiddlejamman November 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

    Sorry for my delayed response! We were having trouble with our comment notification system back then and I just found this!

    Your question about chords verses scale use in the Blues… Yes, A blues SCALE is a minor-based scale, but it fits OVER MAJOR chords in the key! I know, that’s weird, but us humans seem to think that this inherent clash is cool! So, when we speak of “A Blues” we mean the SCALE. You are correct that Am Dm Em would be the diatonic-ly correct chords for a pure minor, or Aeolian scale, and these WOULD sound very in-sync with the minor-based Blues scale, but that is not the real beauty of the Blues!
    That said, there IS something called minor Blues PROGRESSIONs. In general, these are very much non-standardized though. The IV can be more or minor depending on the tune, but the V almost always remains major (which can imply other scales like harmonic minor or other modes). Often Minor Blues songs will have other chord substitutions in them as well. Popular is the use of the bVI chord in minor blues.

    thanks for asking!!

  2. Deili Tandaju September 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    Hi Geoff,

    I am learning the I – IV – V Chord Number System that you taught above.
    I have question: What is the I – IV – V Chord for the Blues Scale?

    For example:
    A Blues
    does A Blues = A minor ?
    Thus the following is the I – IV – V Chord for the A Blues:
    I = Am
    IV = Dm
    V = Em

    Does my understanding above correct?

    Thank you,

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