I'm composing a piece that goes like this for now (mainly a iii-VI-ii-V-I)

AbMaj9 - Gm7 (add11) - C9 - Fm11 - Bb13 - EbMaj9- Eb9 and I can loop that.

In terms of harmony, the progression goes well and everything chord follows and precede thenext and the previous chord logically.

The problem is that I feel that the chords aren't in the right position following the "rule" that resolved chords should fall on odd measures and tension chords on even chords.

What do you think of this progression and would you have any suggestion on how to improve it ?

Here is the theme I wrote on it:enter image description here

  • Your 4th para is a new 'rule' to me. Where did that come from?
    – Tim
    Aug 4, 2023 at 16:31
  • 1
    If it sounds good getting rid of rules can be advisable ;)
    – Tom
    Aug 4, 2023 at 17:28
  • Yes I guess this is this kind of situation! :) Aug 4, 2023 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


Your chord progression is fine but in your analysis the IV and iii are reversed. Also since your VI is actually a secondary dominant chord of ii it should be this: IV-iii-V/ii-ii-V-I. The iii has a dual function of also being the ii of the V/ii, Gm7-C7-Fm

Compared to what is considered typical there is an unusual flow to the timing of the chords. However there are no rules or laws for composing. If this works for what you are hearing and conceiving then leave it be.

One thing you can do to have a smoother and more traditional flow to the progression is play the Ab (IV) chord for two bars instead of one. This will give you a progression and resolution to the I with the chords in a more typical place.

  • Don't understand the last sentence of the 1st para. In key C, iii=Em, so how is it the V of Dm?
    – Tim
    Aug 4, 2023 at 16:35
  • @Tim In your example in the key of C the Em is iii. It as also part of the ii-V Em-A7. A7 is the V/ii, Dm, not Em. Em is the iii but it is also the ii/ii. Now we just transpose all of that to Eb which is the key of the progression the OP wrote. Aug 4, 2023 at 16:57
  • ii/ii? Still don't understand, sorry! Never come across that, but believe it could be ii(Em) of ii(Dm). Please enlighten me!
    – Tim
    Aug 4, 2023 at 17:06
  • @Tim In C, Em is the iii, Dm is the ii and A7 is the V/ii, a secondary dominant. Besides being the iii, Em also functions as part of a 2-5-1 progression to the Dm, Em-A7-Dm. ii/ii is probably not common usage but it explains the second function of the Em as part of the 2-5 to Dm. Does that explain it? Aug 4, 2023 at 17:18
  • Thank you for your answer! I think that it doesn't sound so bad when looped so I will stay with that, thank you for your advices ! Aug 4, 2023 at 21:16

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