Playing Rhythm Guitar: Understanding Triplets Part 3


Now it’s time to jump into some chord progressions that use triplets.

We will use a popular chord progression that you have probably heard in many early rock songs.

The chord progression is known as a I-VI-IV-V chord progression.

We often use Roman Numerals for chord progressions. This makes it much easier to understand, transpose and memorize the chord progressions used in songs.

We won’t be focusing on the details of Roman Numerals in this tutorial, but here is what you do need to know right now.

The I-VI-IV-V Chord Progression

A I-VI-IV-V chord progression is simply a progression consisting of chords built off of the first (I), sixth (VI), fourth (IV), and fifth (V) notes of the major scale.

In the C major scale the notes are:


If we build chords on the I, VI, IV and V notes of the C major scale, we get:

C major, A minor, F major and G major.

A I-VI-IV-V chord progression in G major consists of:

G major, E minor, C major, and D major.

In later tutorials we will look at why some of these chords are major while others are minor.

Here are the fingerings for G, E min, C and D.



Here is the first strumming pattern:

Triplet exercise with chords


Practice this chord progression with the three different triplet picking patterns we looked at in our previous tutorial Playing Rhythm Guitar: Understanding Triplets Part 2.

Once you’ve got the above chord progression with straight triplets down, work on the following rhythm pattern.

triplet ex5 with chords 2

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