Original card game by Joseph E. Reed


Progressions is a chord-spelling game that helps players become more familiar with chord progressions and how to remember which notes are in a key or not.


2-5 players


Before starting, determine which chord progression you will be spelling and make sure you have a list or chart of all those chords available if you need it. For charts you can go to

For these examples we will use the progression: I vi IV V7.



Deal five cards to each player. Put the rest of the cards face down in the center of table to form the stock pile.



On each turn, a player has three options.  They can play the next chord in the progression, draw a single card, or exchange cards from their hand.  For exchanges, player may only put down cards that are not in the key and then will pick up the same number of cards that they had put down onto the discard pile (beside the stock pile).


Once a chord in the progression has been played, then everyone moves on to try and play the next chord.  And so on.  So, if the I and vi chords are already played, then the next chord to spell would be the IV chord.


If there are no more cards to draw from the stock pile and a chord cannot be completed after every player has passed, the round ends.


For the next round, a different key is selected but the same chord progression is used.  The player to the left of whichever player played last in the previous round goes first in the new round.



Every card played is 1 point.  ? cards are 2 points and Chromatic cards are 3 points.  At the end of each round, each player will add up the points they had played and subtract points from their hand.  Non-key cards in the hand are each -1 point.  Cards in the hands that are in the key are not counted.  ? are -2 and Chromatics are -3 points.


At the end of each round, all players will keep whatever cards they have in their hand.  All the played cards, discarded and stock pile cards are shuffled and set as the stock pile for the next round.  Again, the player to the left of whichever player played last in the previous round goes first in the new round.


Whoever gets to 50 points first wins!



Fist key: C major. Chord progression: I – vi – IV – V7

Scale: C-D-E-F-G-A-B

I chord: C-E-G

vi chord: A-C-E

IV chord: F-A-C

V7 chord: G-B-D-F