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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Anybody understand the IVm and Vm?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Chick-N-Picker, Jan 13, 2018 at 6:41 PM.

  1. Chick-N-Picker

    Chick-N-Picker Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 26, 2015
    North Carolina
    I came across a Randy Travis song that had an interesting chord progression. It makes the song sound really melancholy and just flat out country.

    The name of the song is Future Mister Me. The chord progression the way I hear it is.

    C Gm C F Fm C Em Am G

    C Gm C F Fm C G F C

    I don't think I've ever run across this in a country song before (or nothing is coming to mind). I don't really understand the theory of how a fourth and fifth minor work in a progression like this. I just hear it and like it.

    Edit: I remembering I think Hobo's Prayer by Marty Stuart goes to a fourth minor.

  2. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    You hear the I v I IV a lot in popular music. Merle Haggard's song "That's the Way Love Goes" uses it, for example. IV to iv is a device for adding tension to a song and is used quite a bit in popular music as well.
    Note: the ordinals (fourth, etc.,) usually refer to intervals. Chords are called cardinals - (four, five, etc.)
    Harry Styron likes this.

  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    If the melody is in Cmixolydian, then the v chord built on that mode would have a minor third in it, right?
    Louie Louie has this, I think: A/D/em/D

  4. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I subscribe to the theory that it wasn't about theory, but about what the original writer thought sounded good.

    Sometimes I try to figure things in music out based on my knowledge too much.

  5. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 28, 2006
    NELA, Ca
    IV to iv is very common - the iv (if you want to think about this way) is a heavily altered V7 chord. Or, you can think of it as a type of chromatic motion leading to I. The 3rd of F is A, the 3rd of Fm is Ab leading to the 5th of the C chord - G. All very strong tones in those chords. So A > Ab > G. It's very strong motion.
    The Beatles, the Beach Boys, a ton Jazz and Bossa Nova employ it all the time.

    The iv by itself is used a lot in minor blues. The Thrill Is Gone is a great example.

    V minor - (again, 'if' you want to think about it this way) is a substitute for a bVII chord. In the OP's example the Gm7 is a sub for Bb (makes it a Bb6). C to Bb to C is very common. Using a Gm or Gm7 is a little 'prettier' and less abrupt because you have that G (the V) in the bass. Taking it a bit further ... if you play a Gm6 you're really just playing a C9 (w/G in the bass) so it becomes I > I7 > I, also very common.

    A lot of blues and soul will use a v minor. Examples: Ain't no Sunshine, All Your Love (otis rush), Roxanne, Killing Me Softly, Fire and Rain (both V and v), the Logical Song, Baker Street, and as mentioned by Jupiter - Louie, Louie.

    *You can always find a reason theoretically why something works or sounds good. Is it always necessary? No.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 11:19 AM

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