Frazier Piano Studio

Guide to Cadence Patterns

Published by Ryan Frazier

A cadence is a series of chords that marks the end of a musical phrase. This guide goes through some common patterns and exercises to practice in all 12 keys.

How to Use this Guide

This is not a thorough treatment of all the types of candences. See Wikipedia for more complete discussion of cadence types. Be creative and see how many variations you can come up with. These patterns are a good starting place.

This guide is an extension of the Guide to the primary chord pattern. We left off with this pattern:

Primary chords with the left hand
Primary chords with the left hand


Now let’s make some tweaks to this. We can alter the IV chord and make is a ii. Now we have a ii-V-I pattern.

two five one cadence
the ii–V–I cadence

Add with inversions:

cadence with inversions
cadence with inversions
another cadence with inversions
another cadence with inversions

Diminished and Augmented 6th

Now we can have some fun with diminished chords and augmented 6th chords. Notice the cool chromatic bass line.

cadence with diminished chord
cadence with diminished chord

Lower the A for an augmented 6th.

cadence with German augmented 6 chord
cadence with German 6+ chord
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