I – IV – V

Course: Learn to Play Parang with the cuatro

Picture of TuCuatro


First Basic Progression: I – IV – V

This progression is the first one to learn if you want to play parang songs.  The progression is based on three main chords:  The first one or key, the fourth one and the fifth one.

First, Fourth, Fifth? What do these positions mean?

These numbers are the relative position of each chord in a scale for a given key.

Let’s say you are playing in D major.   Then the key will be D major and the chords that compose the D major chord scale will be:


 To enable a progression in the form I IV V we would only require to grab these specific chords from that scale.  So, in this case, we would have the following:


It is important to note that normally Parang music will use A7 instead of A.   It will be still a V but Parang music requires to play it in its Seventh form.  So our final progression would be:

  • D major
  • G major
  • A seventh

In other order of ideas, this progression consists of only 3 chords, but in most of the cases and genres we will need to do four measures, so it is usual to use this progression repeating A seventh twice. You will be able to detect this as soon as we start these exercises below:

Let’s practice this progression!

I – IV – V
Key: D major
Tempo: 80 bpm

I – IV – V
Key: G major
Tempo: 80 bpm

I – IV – V
Key: E minor
Tempo: 80 bpm

An example of a song that uses this progression extensively is La Mujer Favorecida, a Galeron in D major:

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