The I - IV - V Chord Pattern

Playing it on the Keyboard

The I - IV - V Chord Pattern in Action

Many songs, especially folk songs, use the I - IV - V chord pattern. An example is "Home on the Range" played in the key of F.

Song Excerpt of "Home On The Range"

F F Bb Bb
Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam

F F C C
Where the deer and the antelope play

F F Bb Bb
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

F C F
And the skies are not cloudy all day

As you can see this song uses three chords in the key of F which is F - Bb - C.

One principle of writing melodies is to begin and end your song with the same chord. In our example above you'll notice that "Home On The Range" begins and ends with the F major chord.

Playing the I - IV - V Chord Pattern on the Keyboard

Here's a handy table that will show you how to form chords in every major key using the I - IV - V chord pattern. Clicking on a chord name will take you to an illustration.

I - IV - V Chord Pattern

Major Key - Chord Pattern
Key of CC - F - G
Key of DD - G - A
Key of EE - A - B
Key of FF - Bb - C
Key of GG - C - D
Key of AA - D - E
Key of BB - E - F#
Key of DbDb - Gb - Ab
Key of EbEb - Ab - Bb
Key of GbGb - Cb - Db
Key of AbAb - Db - Eb
Key of BbBb - Eb - F