Learn to play ukulele : “Magic Changes” 1950s Chord Progressions

“Magic Changes” 1950s Chord Progressions

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Level: Intermediate
Type: Lesson

This simple chord progression underlies many songs, old and new. It is most-identified with Doo-Wop harmony hits but also appears in contemporary pop music. The a song in the 1970s musical “Grease” named the classic progression “Magic Changes”.

Often the verse sections use the I–vi–IV–V (ex. C, Am, F, G7) progression, the chorus may begin with the IV (F), then progresses to either the I (C) or the V (G).

I have a personal preference for the 7 variation of the 5th, but many times a basic major chord is required. (Ex. G instead of G7)

A simple turn-around leading into the chorus is I7 (C7).
Another turn-around between verses is I-IV-I-V (C, F, C, G7).

The progression can be transposed, of course. The most useful keys for a new player are the C and G keys. Add other keys as your skills improve.

C, Am, F, G7
G, Em, C, D7
D, Bm, G, A7
A, F#m, D, E7
F, Dm, Bb, C7

Alternate versions (in C)
C, Em, F, G7
C, Am, Fm, G7
C, Am, Dm7, G7

Songs that use the “Doo-Wop” progression as a major feature:

Heart and Soul
Stand By Me - Ben E. King
Earth Angel - Penguins
Angel Baby - Rosie & the Originals
All I Have To Do Is Dream - Everly Bros
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
1000 Stars in the Sky - Kathy Young & the Innocents
Lollipop - Chordettes
Daddy's Home  - Shep/Heartbeats
1000 Miles Away - Shep/Limelights
Peppermint Stick - Elchords
Hush-a-Bye - The Mystics
So Young - The Students
Blue Moon - Marcels (cover)
Mr. Postman - Marvelettes
He's Gone - Chantels
Little Star - The Elegants
Denise/Denis - Randy/Rainbows
Guided Missiles - Cufflinks
Teenager in Love - Frankie Lymon
I'm Not a Juvenile Delinquent
My Juanita - Johnny Maestro
Diamonds and Pearls
Looking For an Echo - Kenny Vance & the Planotones
Love Hurts - Everly Bros
Who Put the Bomp?
Book of Love - Monotones
Tears on My Pillow - Little Anthony
Silhouettes (on the Shade)
Oh, Rosemarie - Facinators
Chapel Bells - Facinators
Last Kiss - Wayne Cochran
Love Hurts - Everly Bros
I Wonder Why - Dion/Belmonts
Unchained Melody  - Righteous Bros
Gee Oh Gosh - Frankie Lymon
At My Door - Chanters
Oh Donna – Richie Valens
Sunday Kind of Love
Life Is But a Dream
Life A Could Be a Dream
Stay - Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs

Non-50/60s songs
We Are Young - Fun
Friday - Rebecca Black
She's In Love with A Geek - Wally Pleasant
Telephone Line - ELO
Enola Gay - OMD
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston
Joanne - Mike Nesmith
Just the Way You Look Tonight
Magic Changes - Grease
Today - Glen Campbell
Zing Went the Strings of My Heart
Don’t Dream It’s Over - Crowded House
D'yer Mak’er - Led Zeppelin
The Tide Is High - Paragons/Blondie

Alternate Progressions
Summer Song
I Started a Joke
Different Drummer
Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

Lesson by , 21 Jan 2016

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