I know it sounds like a stupid question, but can you change the chord progression from the chorus to the verse to allow for a perfect cadence, or for example if you choose I-IV-V-I chord progression can you alter this from chorus to verses or would that sound disjointed?

It's difficult for me to understand since in classical music you can keep choosing chords that fit without having to worry about keeping the song the same.

4 Answers 4


if you choose I-IV-V-I chord progression can you alter this from chorus to verses or would that sound disjointed.

Of course you can change it. If you make small changes, it will not sound out of place. For instance, if you play play a deceptive cadence I-IV-V-VI instead of (V-I), it will not be that disjointed, and it will still resemble the original progression.

These kind of small changes keep the song interesting. If you play your original progression for the whole song, it might get boring, so you can experiment with a few chord substitutions to see how you can colour it up.


You're asking if the chorus should be musically the same as the verse? No, of course not! You don't even HAVE to use a verse-chorus structure at all. Though it's a good idea to have at least one hook.


If you really like your chord progression for the verse, one trick worth trying is to keep the chords for the chorus, but double their rate of change. This means instead of, say, one chord per bar, you use two of your chords per bar and tweak the melody accordingly. If your verse is in a minor key, it can sound good to change up to the relative major for the chorus. As you progress and your songs become more sophisticated, you may be interested in adopting the approach of songwriters like Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan, which I would characterise as,'It doesn't matter what highjinks you get up to in the verse, what liberties you take, as long as your chorus is memorably golden'.


Absolutely! I practically always have a different chord progression for the verse and chorus. I tend to use a more minor, melodic, chord progression for the verse and more upbeat progressions for the chorus.

It adds contrast, interest, and therefore is more memorable. You may even wish to use a couple of different chords for the bridge.

If it sounds too disjointed then you could try just rearranging the same chords for the verse into a different order for the chorus.

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