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.
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