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> The I Bvii Bvi Chord Progression
The Professor
post Aug 20 2013, 02:57 PM
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The im bVII bVI Chord Progression



When learning how to play guitar, we are usually introduced to common open-position chords, such as F, D, C7 and Em, as well as chord progressions to some of our favorite songs that use these chords in their make up.

While working on these chords and progressions, one of the most popular groups of chords is the im-bVII-bVI progression, which can be heard in many classic songs, some of which are listed below.

In today’s lesson we’ll be looking at how you build a im-bVII-bVI chord progression, as well as 10 classic songs that use this chord progression in their construction.



What Is the im bVII bVI Chord Progression?



To begin, let’s take a look at how you build a im bVII bVI chord progression, and how it relates to the Natural Minor Scale.

As you can see below, there are 7 notes in the Natural Minor Scale. The intervals for these notes as compared to the root note are:

1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7

In the key of A Natural Minor, as written out below, those notes are:


A B C D E F G A

To build a im-bVII-bVI chord progression, you take the 1st, 6th and 7th notes of the Natural Minor Scale, stack 2 thirds on top of them, and you have built the chords for this progression.

In the key of A Natural Minor, those chords would be Am, G and F, and here is that process on paper.


Attached Image



And here are those three chords written out in chart form.


Attached Image


Now that you have a basic introduction to this chord progression, let’s take a look at a number of classic songs that use these chords in their construction.



Songs With im bVII bVI Chords



Even if you haven’t heard of the im bVII bVI chord progression before from a theory standpoint, you have no doubt heard countless famous songs that use these three chords.

Here is a list of 7 im bVII bVI songs to get you started with this applying this chord progression to the fretboard.

Some of them use this chord progression only, and with others it’s mixed into parts of the song so you can hear this progression in a variety of classic setting.



All Along the Watchtower - Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix

Stairway to Heaven (outro solo) - Led Zeppelin

Don’t Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

Carry On My Wayward Son - Kansas

Dream On - Aerosmith

The Trooper - Iron Maiden

Love Song - The Cure





Do you have a favorite im bVII bVI song? Share it in the comments thread below and let’s fill up this list!



Test Your Theory Chops



Now that you have learned where the im bVII bVI chord progression comes from, and checked out 10 songs that use the im bVII bVI chord progression, let’s test you knowledge with a few theory question regarding these 3 chords.

If you decide to answer these questions, post them below and I can check your work, using the “spoiler” button to the left of this box as not to give away your answers.

Here is a chord progression that uses the im, bVII and bVI chords. How many keys can you write out using these chords? Post your answer(s) below.



Attached Image




Do you have a question or comment about im bVII bVI Chords? Share your thoughts in the comment thread below.


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Nether
post Aug 20 2013, 03:50 PM
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I didn't know this progression, but all the songs on that list are awesome. I've to try it when i get home! biggrin.gif
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The Professor
post Aug 20 2013, 04:39 PM
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Cool. Yeah once you hear it it should be more familiar to you. Enjoy the chords!


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AK Rich
post Aug 22 2013, 12:36 AM
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Well I was going to say Sultans Of Swing but the verse adds the V chord right? How about the chorus?
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klasaine
post Aug 22 2013, 04:20 AM
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Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' chorus utilizes that prog.
It's kind of everywhere. Definitely a good idea to be aware of it.


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The Professor
post Aug 22 2013, 06:04 AM
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Both good songs that use this, or variations of this, progression. Yeah it's everywhere and a lot of the time you'll see the V chord thrown in at the end, or a different ordering of the chords.


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