What Chords Sound Good Together On Guitar?

Generally a music simply grabs you.

You don’t know why, however the rhythm and melody simply discover their method into your soul. It’s one thing in regards to the mixture of chords that simply feels precisely proper.

That’s the form of music you wish to write. However how are you aware what chords sound good collectively on guitar?

Is there an inventory to attract from, or is there another trick?

It seems, there’s a checklist of generally used chord progressions, which are generally used as a result of the chords work so nicely collectively.

And we have now that checklist of chords that sound nice collectively on the guitar proper right here. Hold studying.


Chords That Sound Good Collectively On The Guitar

NOTE: Any of the chord progressions we cowl listed below are offered as Roman numerals, with every numeral representing the size diploma of the given chord. You should utilize it in any key.


I-IV-V (Main, Minor, and different Combos)

Going by way of the historical past of recent music, we will discover an abundance of songs that characteristic the I-IV-V chord development. Whereas it’s related to blues music nowadays, mostly within the 12-bar blues formation, you’ll discover it in loads of different genres.

It’s not unusual to listen to it in people and even pop music. It’s a reasonably simple one, particularly as a result of you possibly can add quite a lot of completely different extensions to its chords and even play it in main or minor.

Blues guitarist playing chord

The best option to play the blues is should you play all three chords as dominant 7ths. For example, in the important thing of G, you’d play G7, C7, and D7.

If you’d like a minor chord development with some pressure added on the finish of every measure, you possibly can play G minor and C minor after which play D7 or D7 with augmented ninth interval in the long run. This chord development is extraordinarily enjoyable and helpful if you wish to follow improvisation and simply jam together with your band.



However should you take this easy I-IV-V development in main and add a minor chord, the iv chord specifically, then you definately get one thing very completely different. As an alternative of ending it on a fifth chord within the scale, the minor chord simply makes it mellower and considerably much less tense.

Nevertheless, it nonetheless manages to complete it off whereas getting ready each you and the listener for the following measure. It’s not as widespread as among the different mixtures of those 4 chords, however it’s nonetheless an fascinating one and really becoming if you wish to write a traditional pop or rock music. Introduced in the important thing of C main, this development goes C main, F main, G main, and A minor.



Right here we have now an iteration of the beforehand talked about development. On this model, we have now the V chord on the finish, preceded by the IV chord.

A guitarist playing chord progression

This manner, we have now the identical form of pressure construct earlier than the following measure as we had again with the I-IV-V chord development. Nevertheless, the primary two chords listed below are the foundation main chord and the vi minor, getting into into this row extra calmly.

And this form of a “distinction” is what makes it so interesting and pleasurable. Very often, it’s additionally known as the “Fifties development” as a consequence of its well-known use in standard music throughout this decade.

It’s additionally not that arduous to improvise over it. In case you play it in the important thing of C main, it goes C main, A minor, F main, and G main (probably even G7 dominant if you wish to add much more pressure). By enjoying a typical A minor scale, you may get some actually fascinating solos occurring over it.



Right here we have now one other outdated school-oriented chord development that’s nonetheless fairly widespread in a few of as we speak’s music. Typically as we speak, this explicit development works in pop music.

Sounding fairly cheerful, these chords simply stream into each other. Introduced in the important thing of C main, you play it as C main, A minor, D minor, and G main. In a roundabout way, it feels as if it’s bittersweet, making it an ideal alternative should you’re writing a easy little pop music.

First, it begins with an everyday main chord, after which it goes right into a minor iv and minor ii. With these two chords, you possibly can really feel it getting considerably unhappy or melancholic. Nevertheless, the ultimate chord, the V which is dominant within the scale, provides just a bit little bit of pressure.

That is particularly pronounced as a result of it goes from the ii-chord, which is a supertonic, proper into the V chord. If you wish to enhance the stress and add extra to this development, you possibly can attempt to play the dominant seventh because the final chord. In the important thing of C main, this might be the G dominant chord.


I-V-vi-IV (The Axis of Superior)

Female guitarist playing chord on guitar

You’ve in all probability heard this one so many instances. One other twist on among the progressions that we talked about above, I-V-vi-IV is sometimes called “The Axis of Superior.”

As this light-hearted title suggests, this development brings out a really optimistic and optimistic vibe. It’s generally heard in pop music, however there are some instances the place it really works nicely even in genres like heavy metallic.

For example, Toto’s Africa is a well-known pop-rock music the place it actually hits the spot and serves its essential function. Then we even have Ed Sheeran and his standard 2017 music Excellent and Girl Gaga’s legendary Poker Face from her debut file, 2008’s “The Fame.”

Alternatively, there’s Pink Scorching Chili Pepper 2002 tune Don’t Overlook Me and even a heavy metallic hit Battle Hymn from Manowar’s 1982 debut album Battle Hymns. As you possibly can see, with the fitting association, “The Axis of Superior” chord development does its job in many various types of music.



If we swap these chords round and have a look at it from a minor key perspective, we get a little bit of a “pessimistic” development. We like to treat it as i-VI-III-VII, however offered in a serious key, it goes vi-IV-I-V. And similar to the earlier instance, it really works for nearly any style that you can imagine. Even utterly completely different songs from varied musical types have it, so get away your Schecter and begin riffing.

On this explicit case, the distribution of chords creates a barely melancholic vibe. This may appear a bit uncommon for the reason that development has three main chords, however going from the VII chord and again to the i chord actually does the trick for these settings. If you wish to current it in the important thing of A minor, it goes A minor, F main, C main, and G main.


i-VII-VI-V (Or V7) (Andalusian cadence)

Spanish flamenco guitarist and dancer

The Andalusian cadence is fairly widespread for flamenco music. Nevertheless, loads of completely different genres additionally use it to recreate these types of vibes. Additionally known as the “descending tetrachord,” this development goes down from the primary minor chord and descends to the fifth main or dominant chord.

Though the minor chord could be extra “right” in keeping with the fundamentals of music idea, altering this explicit chord makes it sound extra “unique.” That is particularly helpful should you like so as to add the harmonic minor scale. Among the finest makes use of of the Andalusian cadence will be heard within the mid a part of Queen’s Innuendo from the band’s album of the identical title.


i-VII-VI-iv (Comfortably Numb Development)

In case you Play guitar, then you definately’ve undoubtedly heard Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, together with its groundbreaking outro solo. However what makes this development so distinctive is that there’s nearly no pressure concerned.

It’s fairly much like the Andalusian cadence, but we have now the IV chord because the final one. This manner, the development feels as if it may go on perpetually. You should utilize this set of chords should you want your music or a part of the music to really feel extra mellow.


II-V-I (Each Main and Minor Combos)

The II-V-I development is fairly widespread in jazz and old skool blues music. And it really works nice each in main and minor keys. It will get particularly efficient should you simply wish to jam, identical because the I-IV-V development.

Chord combinations on the guitar

Typically, it’s used with seventh chords. For example, in the important thing of C main, you possibly can play it as D minor seventh, G dominant, and C main seventh. In the important thing of C minor, you possibly can play it as D semi-diminished, G minor or G dominant, and C minor.


Why Do Some Chords Sound Good Collectively?

The entire thing about chord progressions is about creating motion and one thing that simply is sensible collectively. Many of the issues should do with creating pressure and releasing it, a method or one other.

For example, going from a dominant fifth chord again to the minor first chord is an efficient option to launch pressure. That is particularly apparent to listen to with the Andalusian cadence.

Alternatively, generally we wish to diminish this pressure and launch impact, for a extra mellow really feel. That is the case with Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, arguably top-of-the-line sounding electrical guitar tunes ever.

In nearly all instances, the notes in chords of those chord progressions are made up of scale notes. Though music idea is filled with guidelines, you’re not at all times imagined to comply with them.

However due to the diatonic concord, or notes referring to a sure key and one another, you get an impression of an “order” with a given set of chords. And once they transfer collectively, you may get completely different results and moods that allow you to convey your creative message higher. And on the finish of the day, that’s the entire level of figuring out music idea.


Guitar Chords That Sound Good Collectively: Closing Ideas

Hopefully this text has given you quite a lot of concepts. On the very least, it ought to have given you an concept for which chords may sound good collectively. And if it has left you with extra questions on chords, you may additionally be concerned with our article discussing what number of guitar chords there are.

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