The G, D, Em, C sequence is a real building block of contemporary song. Hundreds of songs use this exact sequence, and many more use the same chords in a slightly different order. So the effort you invest getting the chord changes going will result in you being able to play many songs.

Here are some audios you can play along to. If you’re working on getting the chord changes going, start off with one or two one minute changes between each pair of chords, and work towards playing each chord once on beat one of the bar. (Reminder-here, each bar lasts for four beats, or a count of four). Use the first set of audios labelled ‘Training’ and you’ll hear one guitar strum on beat one, and just drums marking the remaining beats. Try to keep up with the chord changes moving to faster tracks as your chords get a bit quicker. You can start adding in a second strum when your changes speed up. It’s a good idea to start on the training audios, as it can be hard to pick out the guitar and the beat AND play along when you’re starting out. Soon, though, it will feel much easier and you can play along with the band tracks underneath that have more instruments in them.

 If you are struggling to know which chord is which, try counting each chord out loud. This is a great way to learn fast!


Training audios: Just click on the text link below to open the audio file, and play along.

G D Em C 60bpm Training

G D Em C 80 bpm Training

G D Em C 100bpm Training

G D Em C 120 bpm Training


When this is easy, you can add more strums, and move on to playing with the band tracks underneath. Because there are more instruments playing in the band tracks, they sound fuller and more musical than the training audios, but if you are starting out, it can also be harder to hear and count – so don’t worry if you lose your place from time to time.

Play the ‘rock and pop’ one first as the drums will make the beat easier to hear and count. You can then try the acoustic one. The reggae one is cool to practice your upstrokes to.

If you find you’re getting lost to start with, this is normal – just find your G chord and wait for the sequence to go back to the G. Counting out loud helps.


Band audios: Just click on the text link below to open the audio file, and play along.

G D Em C 70 bpm Band Reggae

G D Em C 80bpm Band Rock/pop

G D EM C 70bpm Band Acoustic

Here are just some of the songs that use this chord progression – although for some you’ll need to use a capo
“Let It Be” The Beatles I-V-vi-IV
“Tuesday’s Gone” Lynyrd Skynyrd I-V-vi-IV
“No Woman, No Cry” Bob Marley I-V-vi-IV
“’39” Queen I-V-vi-IV
“So Lonely” The Police I-V-vi-IV
“Don’t Stop Believin’” Journey I-V-vi-IV
“Down Under” Men at Work I-V-vi-IV
“Skulls” Misfits I-V-vi-IV
“Forever Young” Alphaville I-V-vi-IV
“Sleepwalking” Canton I-V-vi-IV
“Take On Me” A-ha I-V-vi-IV
“Tonight She Comes” The Cars I-V-vi-IV
“With or Without You” U2 1987 I-V-vi-IV
“Right Here Waiting” Richard Marx 1989 I-V-vi-IV
“Fall at Your Feet” Crowded House I-V-vi-IV
“Once in a Lifetime” Gregorian I-V-vi-IV
“Little Baby Nothing” Manic Street Preachers I-V-vi-IV
“Please Play This Song on the Radio” NOFX I-V-vi-IV
“Under the Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers I-V-vi-IV
“Butterfly” The Pale I-V-vi-IV
“Cryin’” Aerosmith I-V-vi-IV
“When I Come Around” Green Day I-V-vi-IV
“Today” The Smashing Pumpkins I-V-vi-IV
“Glycerine” Bush I-V-vi-IV
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” Elton John I-V-vi-IV
“Con te partir” Andrea Bocelli I-V-vi-IV
“Good” Better Than Ezra I-V-vi-IV
“China Roses” Enya I-V-vi-IV