IFR blog > Practice tips > Developing your ear > Melody paths 6 4 1 5d

Melody Paths with 6-, 4, 1, 5D

In this video we are going to train our ear together with the famous chord progression 6-, 4, 1, 5D. First, we'll sing the roots to make sure we can feel the chord changes. Then we'll practice the ear training exercise Melody Paths, singing melodies connecting chord notes across the chord progression.

Keep going on your own!

IFR Jam Tracks Level 2: Pure Harmony Essentials

If you want to keep studying the 6-, 4, 1, 5D chord progression on your own, I suggest two activities:

1) Practice with IFR Jam Tracks Level 2: Pure Harmony Essentials

IFR Jam Tracks Level 2 is a deep dive into precisely these four chords which are the most important chords in all western music. And so you'll not only be learning to master these four essential chords, but you'll also be building the ideal foundation for mastering the rest of modern harmony as well.

2) Practice with my playlist of songs

This chord progression 6-, 4, 1, 5D has been used thousands of times in popular music, and you are probably very familiar with it already. I have created a special playlist for you so you can go listen to songs from different styles that use chords 6-, 4, 1, 5D. My suggestion is to first spend some time in this video singing the roots and the Melody Paths with me, and then go listen to the songs on the playlist.

Things you can observe in this chord progression:


  • The first half of the progression feels darker and more melancholy, starting with chords 6- and 4. Then in the second half, it gets brighter and more "optimistic" with chords 1 and 5D.
  • There is a surprising movement going from 5D to the 6- chord. We are used to hearing the tension-release resolution from 5D to 1, which feels so strong and final. But in this case, our ear gets deceived and instead of falling from 5D to 1, we go from 5D to 6-. It is a very beautiful sound!
  • In this progression we feel the tonal center in note 6, so it's a minor environment.
  • Be on the lookout for these chords when you listen to the radio! You'll be surprised by how often it appears in the music all around you.