Review of Unlocking I IV V from

Have you ever heard musicians talk about playing songs using numbers like 1 4 5?
Have you wanted to learn more about music theory, but not sure where to begin?

Today I will be reviewing "Unlocking I IV V" from, which can help you learn more about the numbering system that is commonly used by so many guitarists. This video series consists of almost two hours of guitar music theory taught by Jonathan Boettcher. It is available by DVD, as a digital download, or you can stream the entire program online.

Jonathan also has a YouTube channel with lots of free guitar lessons and over 2 millions views since June 2015, and has spent years helping guitarists improve their skills!

What is I IV V?

Many guitarists learn how to play basic chords, but don't really understand theory and why certain sounds go well with each other or how to actually construct a chord through stacking individual notes. Often, when analyzing popular songs, the same chords appear over and over again! Using a song's key, you can learn the members of it's family and from this group, the I IV V confidently emerges in songwriting. It's a familiar progression heard widely in so many styles of music!

The I IV V Course from

In Unlocking I IV V (1 4 5 in Roman Numerals), Jonathan starts off with the basics of music theory and each section builds on top of the previous one. He covers topics such as string names, the 12 notes of the guitar, octaves, triads and the formula for building chords.

Although he covers beginner theory information, you should first be comfortable with playing major and minor chords as well as strumming between them. Otherwise, I think this course will be difficult to follow as you put this theory knowledge into practice through the use of songs.

The I IV V course goes through detailed examples of how to build major and minor chords using triads. So many popular songs use these types of chords, so this is very important information to incorporate into your playing. Jonathan also covers diminished and augmented chords, which have their own distinct sounds. Modes, which can be a little tricky to understand, are briefly discussed. With examples likes "Knocking on Heaven's Door", Jonathan shows you how to use the I IV V method to play popular songs.  He also covers how key changes are used with this number system, which is very helpful especially when you are playing with other musicians or trying to shift the sound of a song higher or lower.

There are other useful nuggets of information contained in the I IV V course - examples of how riffs come from a scale, how to quickly find octave notes, and using I IV V in a 12 bar blues template. Jonathan includes bonus PDF's of a complete guitar fretboard, scale patterns, as well as an empty fretboard worksheet to practice what you've learned. A cool extra in this course was a bonus guitar care video showing you how to clean your instrument, keep it in tune, tips and ideas for storage.


Overall, I found this course to be very informative and enjoyed Jonathan's teaching style. Music theory can be a complex topic and he breaks it down into smaller pieces that help with developing a strong foundation for the popular I IV V number system. 

Are you ready to unlock the I IV V with Jonathan Boettcher?
Click here to order Unlocking I IV V from

Have you purchased Jonathan's course? What do you think of I IV V? Please share your feedback with us in the comments below?

* Note: Jonathan's course comes with a full 6 Month No Questions asked return policy.

Disclosure: Please note that I use an affiliate link to and I will earn a commission if you purchase Jonathan's material through my link (at no extra cost to you). My advice is to start with his free YouTube video lessons (there is lots of free content here!). If you do decide to purchase Jonathan's material I would really appreciate it if you can click through this affiliate link.

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