Guitar Chords – 8 Common Chord Progressions in Rock

guitar chords

Depending on the genre of music you want to learn how to play, when you listen to the structure of famous tunes you will find that some are a lot more common than others. In fact, when you listen to rock music closely, you will realise that many of the tunes use exactly the same guitar chords over and over again.

In theory, you can use any combination of progressions and chords to make a song, but you will soon realise that certain progressions sound better than others. This is why they are used so much by professional musicians and songwriters. If you want to play rock music, here are the eight most common chord progressions you will need to learn how to play in order to bust out a jam with the best of them.

Let’s take a look:


This is one of the most common chord progressions used in rock music so this is the one you should probably master first. It is used in many hits, including ‘Do Ya’ by Electric Light Orchestra.


The E-A-D progression is one of the easiest to learn so it is a great place to start for people who are still learning guitar chords. A simple way to practice this progression is to check out our virtual guitar chords online.


Another favourite in rock music, this chord progression is used in many famous hits, such as ‘Talk Dirty to Me’ by Poison and ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ by Third Eye Blind.


Another common and simple rock chord progression is E-B-A. This is similar to the D-A-G progression as the finger positioning is the same, just two frets further up the neck.


The last of the three chord progressions you should learn is G-C-D. This chord progression features in the chorus of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles.


This is a really popular four chord progression in rock music. This progression is used right through ‘Welcome to My Life’ by Simple Plan.

D-G-Bm-A and Bm-A-D-G

These are great switch-up guitar chord progressions. Make sure you learn guitar chords separately first before attempting these four chord progressions. This can be a tricky one to learn as it involves moving up and down the neck, but the effort is well worth it. One famous track that uses this progression is ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams.

D-A-Bm-G and Bm-G-D-A

This is a great chord progression to learn for songs with a more sombre tone. It is used in Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s My Life’ and ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne.

Although there are many more guitar chords and progressions you could potentially use, these are the eight most common. At first you may find it difficult to learn guitar chords and progressions, but by mastering these you will find that you are able to play a very wide range of rock music indeed so stick with it and practice, practice, practice.