Popular Four Chord Turnarounds

I’ve started working on a series of basic drum machine + piano backing tracks (each will be about 5 minutes long) that feature the most common four chord turnarounds (four chord progressions which repeat) in pop music.

They will be in a variety of keys and tempos to spice things up a bit.

All of the these tracks are going up on my youtube channel and they will also be available to download as mp3s here.

The idea is that these tracks can help you get the sound of these popular progressions in your ear so that you recognize them when you hear them. I think this can help not only for musicianship but also for songwriting. One thing you may want to try is adding your own melodies to these tracks (like I did in this example.)

I’ll be updating this post as I create additional tracks.

I – vi – IV – V
(“the 50s progression“)

Examples: “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King & “D’yer Maker” by Led Zeppelin.

I – ii – IV – V

Examples: “99 Red Balloons” by Nena & “Somebody” by Bryan Adams.

I – vi – ii – V

Examples: “Hungry Heart” by Bruce Springsteen & “All I’ve Got to Do is Dream” by The Everly Brothers.

The drum in this one is from NI Studio Drummer and NI Giant provides the piano sound … both of these Kontakt based instruments are included in Komplete 9 Ultimate (which I purchased recently and am very very happy with so far.)

I – IV – vi – V

Examples: “Talking About A Revolution” by Tracy Chapman & “Dig Me” by The Foo Fighters.

This one uses NI Abbey Road Drums (Late 60s) & the NI Upright Piano (Preacher) which are also included in Komplete 9 Ultimate.

I – iii – IV – V

Examples: “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye & “Going Underground” by The Jam.

Komplete 9 Ultimate‘s Alicia’s Keys & Abbey Road Modern Drums are used for this track.

I – V – vi – IV

Examples: “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley & “Four Chords” by Axis of Awesome.

This one uses Abbey Road 60s Drums plus the Upright Piano.

i – VII – VI – V

Examples: “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys & “In The Year 2525” by Zager & Evans.

Studio Drummer plus the Upright Piano on this one which is the only minor key progression of this series.

I – II – IV – V

Examples: “American Girl” by Tom Petty & “As Time Goes On” by The Rolling Stones.

Studio Drummer + New York Grand Piano. Get ’em both in Native Instruments Komplete 9 Ultimate

Go Here to Download MP3s of these Tracks.

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