I had a chance to visit Paris this Summer and couldn’t help but fall in love with the city of lights. Paris reminded me of a few beautiful romantic songs composed by some well-known musicians: “Clair De Lune” by Debussy, “Rhapsody in Blue“ by Gershwin, and “La Mar” by Charles Trenet. Some of you may have heard of the romantic French song “La Mer"; this song has since been re-arranged into many modern arrangements. The version that captured my heart is the love song called “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin. As you may notice in the video below, I apply the I-vi-ii-V (1-6-2-5) chord progressions when I improvise with the tune.
The 1-6-4-5 chord progression and the 1-4-5 chord progression are two of the most popular chord progressions. Take a look at some popular guitar songs—you will see that these two chord progressions cover almost 70% of the song compositions. Should you be interested in the 1-6-4-5 chord progression technique, I discussed it in an earlier video clip - How to Compose a Song. Another song that utilizes this chord progression technique is “Heart and Soul."
Subsequently, many songs also appear to have use a slight variation of these two chord progressions; for example: 1-6-2-5 (I-vi-ii-V) or 2-5-1 (ii-V-I).
Chord progression is a big topic to cover. We will touch on this in future blog articles.
I challenge you to arrange this music on your own using the simple 1-6-2-5 chord progression in the key of C major (C – A min – D min – G7). Let me know your experience in playing with these chord progression techniques. You can send me your video or leave a comment below.
As a side note, Debussy also composed a musical piece called la mer (available both in orchestral and four hands piano format).