Avoiding the V-chord helps to remove a layer of predictability from your music.
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The V-chord is the one built on the 5th note of a scale. For music in C major, G is the V-chord. It has the main characteristic of making the move back to the tonic chord (the I-chord) easy and obvious. In any progression you create, you’ll find that ending it with V-I makes for a very strong progression, one that points to the tonic chord as being the most important chord, tonally-speaking.
In a way, that is also the V-chord’s drawback. While some sub-genres of rock music welcome the V-chord’s strength and predictability with open arms, the V-chord can sound a little bit too obvious in others.
If you’re wanting to use progressions that avoid use of the V-chord entirely, here are some suggestions. You’ll see that many of them make use of “altered chords”: chords that don’t naturally belong in the key. And the last two modify the V-chord so that it’s main characteristic – the fact that it’s usually major – is removed.
- C F Bb C
- C F Dm C
- C Am F Am C
- C F C/E F C
- C Bb Ab Bb C
- C Eb F C
- C Am Bb F C
- C Gm7 F Dm C/E F F/A C
- C Gm Fsus4 F Eb F C
Written by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.
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