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Guitar Chord Progression:

IV - Sub Dominant - Chord

Other Chord progressions

The next chord to comment is the IV-chord, or the subdominant. It is called subdominant because it is chord one percfect fifth below the tonic. Now, recall what I said about root movement in the lesson on The V-chord: The root wants to move down a fifth from the fifth to the tonic. Then it should not come as a surprise that the root also wants to move down a fifth away from the root: From the root to the fourth below. Try to play the notes C - F, and listen to how the note rest at the F.

If we listen to the relation between the I and IV chords and the I and V chords from our "home" (I-chord), we can say: The IV is the "way out" chord and the V is the "way in" chord. The IV chord leads us away from the tonic, and the V leads us back home.

As I have said, this is an (over)simplification. In many tunes we go from I to V, and many tunes end with the IV–I (plagal) ending.

Recordings with the IV Sub Dominant progression - Annotaded

  • The Beatles - Doctor Robert -
  • The Beatles - She Said She Said -

  • Books covering the progression -

    Further references:

    Blues to Jazz: Targeting the IV chord
    Guitarist 2007 - 293 2007-0

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