The most powerful concept in learning to play songs by ear is the “1 4 5 progression”, or the “3 chord song”.

This can also include “1 4 5 6” (or “I IV V vi“) progressions and 4-chord songs.

In short:

So many songs sound the same because they use the same underlying sequence of chords.

Different keys, different arrangements, different styles – but the same progression!

Learn about this progression and playing songs by ear becomes much easier!

If you want to learn more about three chord songs we have an all-in-one specialist guide: “3-Chord Songs and the 4-Chord Trick”.