R&B Chord Progressions: 2-5-1

R&B chord progressions stefan guy

The 2-5-1 Movement


I love making R&B, it’s my favourite genre but it’s unquestionably one of the harder genres to make. Why? Because of its level of musicality. You see its roots come from Soul and Gospel. But in this tutorial we look at a chord progression shared by all three genres.

The 2-5-1 movement is used across music but heavily in Soul, Gospel and Jazz music. It’s used as a way to bridge the gap between chords and has a distinct sound I’m sure you’re familiar with. R&B has adopted this progression and has gone to town with it. We used to hear it a lot in the 90s but now its back in full effect. You’ll hear it in 1 out of 10 R&B with Trap style drum songs. From Chris Breezy to Kehlani and everyone in-between. Check out how I use it in a beat below. Please ignore the hat, I don’t know what I was thinking!



The progression I use in my R&B beat goes as followers. 6-2-5-1-7-3-6. The 7-3-6 is actually also a 2-5-1 movement just starting on a different chord. The intervals are the same. If that went right over your head that’s ok as you can download this R&B chord progression for free! Just drag and drop it into your digital audio workstation. It’s MIDI, so you can use it with any sound and edit it.

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Need more R&B chord progressions?

There’s over 30 popular R&B chord progressions included in my chord progressions pack. These chord progressions come in MIDI & Apple Loops formats. This allows you to drag and drop them into any beat, edit them and use any sound.

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