Chord Progressions: Major I-V7-I, Theory & Ear Training


Studying the Major I-V7-I Chord Progression will teach you about the harmonic tension and release formula that makes an incredible amount of music tick…

Using the I-V7-I Chord Progression in the key of C Major as an example, we are going to integrate reading, roman numeral analysis, solfege, and ear training…


Listen, be receptive to the sound-feeling of each chord as a whole, and notice:

  • The C chord (I) establishes the major-ness and home key.
  • The G7 chord (V7) creates harmonic tension.
  • That tension is released with the return back to the C chord (I).

Solfege Ear Training

Very Important: It is absolutely essential that you sing all of these studies out loud and at your own pace, a pace that allows you to sustain each note long enough to make an impression on your mind’s ear. If you can’t sing them, you don’t know them! Singing out loud is a very effective way to get musical sounds into your mind’s ear. Singing is an active process that excites many sensory and memory and motor pathways in your brain. This broad-based activation leads to much faster and deeper learning than passive listening alone.

Listen to Frank model how to do the following ear training studies in order to maximize learning…

Play the chords & sing the bass line…


Be receptive to how each and every note sounds and feels with respect to the key center Do.

Play the chords & sing arpeggios…


Play the chords & sing the “Do-Re-Do” voice…


Notice the very strong pull that Re has to resolve to Do.

Play the chords & sing the “Mi-Fa-Mi” voice…


Notice the very strong pull that Fa has to resolve Mi.

Play the chords & sing the “So-So-So” voice…


Notice that G (So) is common to both chords.

Play the chords & sing the “Do-Ti-Do” voice…


Notice the very strong pull that Ti has to resolve back to Do. This is a particularly strong attraction, so strong that B (Ti) is referred to as the leading tone, because it so strongly leads the ear back to the tonic C (Do).

learn more… Chord Progressions: Minor i-V7-i, Theory & Ear Training