Your First Five Guitar Chord Progressions for Kids | I V IV Chord Progression in A


Last week, you learned your first guitar chord progression, Congratulations! The I IV V chord progression is probably the most common chord progression of all-time! The I IV V chord progression is found in all styles of music including country, folk, blues, rock, and even classical. It’s the foundation of famous songs including “Louie Louie,” “Ring of Fire,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Helpless,” “Three Little Birds,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Man of Constant Sorrow,” and “I Fought the Law.” 

As always, feel free to skip straight to the video lesson, guitar tab, and play-along backing track. On the other hand, those of you who want a strong foundation of music theory will be well served by reading through the entire blog post.


What’s the Deal with the Roman Numerals?

Before we dive into today’s material, let’s talk about Roman numerals? Musicians use the Arabic numerals to represent scale degrees like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 and Roman numerals to represent chords like I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, and vii•. It’s important to remember that capital Roman numerals represent major chords (I, IV, & V) and lower case Roman numerals represent minor chords (ii, iii, & vi.)

The chart below should help you translate Roman numerals to the more commonly used Arabic numerals, which you probably use every day in math class!

How to Read Roman Numerals


The I V IV Chord Progression

Now that you know the granddaddy of all chord progressions, it’s time to mix the chords up.  In the key of A, the I IV V chords are A D & E. To create a I V IV chord progression, simply rearrange the order of the chords. Instead of playing the chord in the following order: A, D, & E. You’re now going to play them as A, E, & D. It’s a subtle difference, but it will help you get many miles out of just three chords!


The Harmonized Major Scale



What’s the Best Way to Practice Guitar Chords for Kids?

Make no mistake about it: learning to play to guitar chords for kids is challenging. That’s where deliberate and focused practice comes in. For the best results, practice your chords 5-10 minutes per day. Begin by making the chord shape. Once you have that down, move onto strumming the chords in time. Strum a whole note for one measure. Then remove your hand for one measure. This works because it increases the number of reps of making the chord shapes. Once you have that down, try mixing in a second chord and switching from the familiar chord to the new and unfamiliar chord.

This strategy will help you learn this chord progression or any other chord progressions you encounter during your entire guitar playing career!



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Next week, you’ll learn some new chords, so you can rock harder and sound better! In the meantime, you can contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page if you have any questions!


Free Backing Track Provided by Band-in-a-Box

Click on the play button below to jam along with the free guitar backing track. This guitar backing track for kids is provided by Band-in-a-Box, an incredibly powerful backing track generator! Learn more at Band-in-a-Box.




The Rock Dojo offers award-winning, introductory-level guitar lessons for kids after-school in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. You can check out the Rock Dojo FAQs to learn how our colored-belt systems works (hint: it’s like karate. As your students improve on the guitar, they graduate belt levels just like the martial arts). Do you have a specific question about our guitar lessons for kids? Drop us a line at (503) 484-6417 or contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page.