Bill Hilton

In this tutorial I look at some constructions you can use as turnarounds in a couple of contexts where you might find a 1 – 4 – 5 progression – namely, the blues and country/folk/pop piano.

Turnarounds are most useful in songs with simple structures, such as 12-bar blues. In this type of chord sequence you can’t rely on a verse-chorus-bridge pattern to tell the listener that the progression is starting again.

In general, turnarounds are very simple, and rely on briefly returning to the 5 chord to signal the start of a new section. This chord is the dominant chord, which wants to pull us back to the tonic to start the progression again.

You may find that in rock or country songs playing the dominant chord or note sounds a little too predictable. If this is the case, try playing the 4 chord but including the dominant somewhere in the chord, such as in the bass. This creates a sound *like* the dominant without actually having to use the dominant chord.

Some songs won’t need a turnaround at all, and you’ll find that you can stay on the tonic chord and start over. This is especially common in pop songs where the verses, bridge and chorus often simply run into one another.

Regardless of the key of the progression you’re playing, you should find that playing the 5 chord (or similar) as a turnaround will bring you back nicely to the start of the progression.

If you found this video useful, take a look at my other videos. You might also be interested in my book, How to Really Play the Piano, which is full of the basics of harmony and chords, as well as tips on improvisation


This is a short introduction and review of the function of Secondary Dominants.
Produced for WHS AP Music Theory

Karen Ramirez

Karen Cuneo Ramirez explains the chord sequence known as 1-6-2-5-1.

ArtistsHouseMusic·2,373 videos

In this clip from – Blues pianist and songwriter Jon Cleary delivers a seminar in the history and tradition of the New Orleans blues piano style to an audience at Loyola University, New Orleans. He discusses major figures like James Booker, Professor Longhair and Jelly Roll Morton, and places their work in the larger context of the musical traditions of the Caribbean rim. He also shares his thoughts on songwriting technique, on managing your copyrights, and on collaborating in the studio with “name” artists.

Jake Hertzog·54 videos

Hey Jazz Guy basic lesson on ii-V-I progression and voiceleading. For more music, info, lessons, and video, check out

Froniwo·33 videos·2,429 videos


veronica zubi·159 videos


pianoguytv·87 videos

Want more from Scott Houston? Find out about Scott’s best piano lessons ever!
Scott Houston is called “the Pied Piper of recreational music-making.” On his Emmy Award-winning public television series, The Piano Guy, Scott gives hope to millions of viewers who just want to sit at the piano and play their favorite tunes. Here Scott and his guest, Bobby Floyd, discuss playing the Ray Charles’ hit, Georgia On My Mind.
Follow The Piano Guy on Twitter @pianoguyscott

guitarplaymag·28 videos

Jazz Fusion Guitar Lesson 2 by Andy Baker

Colin O’Dwyer·70 videos
Pachelbel’s famous canon is a great progression to know as a songwriter. It is I V vi iii IV I IV V. It has all three important cadences: authentic cadence, plagal cadence and deceptive cadence.

Guitar World ·1,552 videos

Musicians Institute and Guitar World bring you a new series of guitar lessons with some of the top guitar instructors around.

In this video, instructor Jeff Richmond gives a lesson on Soloing Through Changes: Melody and Key Centers.

matthewosburn·20 videos

Jazz pianist Michael Wolff explains five basic harmonic concepts to play over jazz chord changes,

Eric Edberg·48 videos

JamPlayDotCom·402 videos

Emil Werstler from the band Daath and Levi/Werstler teaches the approach of playing to the chord you are on in a progression rather than just playing in the diatonic key. This is an abbreviated video so for the full lesson and more examples check out :

Dudu Yzhaki·230 videos

To read and watch the full piano lesson go to:…

In this piano lesson we’ll learn how to form secondary dominants on the piano.

This piano lesson was made by: David Yzhaki