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.