Nashville Number System Lesson


Difficulty: intermediate

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The 1-4-5 and 2-5-1 chord progressions represent two different types of progressions that are commonly used in music.

The 1-4-5 progression is a staple of blues, rock, and folk music, providing a basis for countless memorable songs. It is built on the first, fourth, and fifth degrees of the major scale, resulting in a sequence that often feels stable, straightforward, and 'resolved.'

On the other hand, the 2-5-1 progression is a hallmark of jazz, but also appears in pop and classical music. It's built on the second, fifth, and first degrees of the major scale, frequently in their seventh chord forms. This progression, particularly when it involves seventh chords, can offer a sense of tension and release, with the '2' and '5' chords building suspense that is resolved when the progression returns to '1'. This creates a cyclic, circular flow that propels the music forward. Both progressions have their places and uses, providing different emotional tones and serving different musical purposes.

Here are 3 shapes that represent a typical 1, 4, 5 sequence in the key of A Major, followed by 3 shapes that represent a typical 2-, 5, 1 sequence in the key of A Major

A Major