So, I've been playing guitar for about a year, and I want to learn some chord theory. I crack open a book, I learn about
I ii iii IV V vi viio and why it works and how to construct it, then I learn how to apply it to
I IV V being a simple easy medley and
I V vi IV being the go-to pop progression. It all makes sense on paper. And the book is very adamant about seeing these chords all around me and having that realization like Neo in The Matrix that everything is built around these chord structures.
The problem is that every time I try to be clever and apply it to a song I know, these rules don't help. I can give some examples:
Knockin' on Heaven's Door is the most basic-sounding song I can think of. It goes
G D C, G D Am. Four chords, I would expect it to fit somewhere into
I V vi IVor something. But it doesn't. The closest I can get it to fit is
I ii IV V, which the books have never prepared me for. I have no idea if this is the correct way to interpret it or if it's just coincidence that I got it to fit that way.
Jenny Jenny, the poppiest pop hit I can come up with off the top of my head, four chords, I would have put money on it being what the pop progression was built for. But it's not. I've tried numerous ways to get
F♯m D A Bto fit any kind of chord progression based off the above, but nothing exactly fits. By my reasoning,
A Bwould have to be the
IV V, but in that case
Karma Police, simple chords in a simple consistent order, and I accidentally stumbled on a song that needs a manual to explain why it works.
Where Is My Mind, four chords,
E C♯m G♯ Ait's so tantalizingly close to
I V vi I, but it's not. It's still off slightly, which again leads me to believe it might just be a fluke that it's so close to the system I'm trying to force it into.
Frankly, this it's disheartening to be learning all of these rules and theory without being able to apply it anywhere. I've confirmed that my understanding of the rules are correct in the books trivial nursery rhyme and lullaby examples, so I don't think the issue is with my application. I understand music can sound fantastic without following the rules, and at times sounds good because it doesn't follow the rules, but I wish I could stumble upon a song at some point that follows the rules that I've spent the last month learning. I don't feel like I'm learning anything useful.
Am I going at this the wrong way? Or am I applying the rules incorrectly?