Classic Chord Progressions in Songs by the Beatles
The most important chords in any key are the I and V chords, and in rock music, the IV chord is close behind. The V chord creates a sense of tension that pulls your ear back to the I chord, so youâ€™ll often hear that chord played before a progression returns to the I, as in Example 3 (where the V chord leads back to I on each repeat). Youâ€™ve probably heard this chord progression countless times; itâ€™s similar to the one in the Beatlesâ€™ version of â€śTwist and Shout.â€ť We call it a Iâ€“IVâ€“V (â€śoneâ€“fourâ€“fiveâ€ť) progression, following the Roman numerals assigned to each chord.
Another popular progression is Iâ€“viâ€“iiâ€“V (â€śoneâ€“sixâ€“twoâ€“fiveâ€ť), which youâ€™ll find in songs like the Beatles â€śThat Boyâ€ť and â€śYes It Isâ€ť (Example 4).
Excerpted from Acoustic Rock Essentials