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I am trying to find a chord to follow a B6 chord. The melody I am writing sounds really nice, and I have noticed the first part follows the E6 chord, then the B6 chord, so my thought is that if I can find another chord to fit this progression, it will help me finish my melody. I guess that would mean my "chord progression" so far is E6 then B6...

I know enough music theory to get around (at least for electronic music), but I am not perfect at it. I would really appreciate any input as to the direction I can take to resolve this melody nicely! (I am aiming for a bittersweet melody. Happy, but with a sad undertone if that means anything)

Thank you so much for your time! I normally don't post on stackoverflow for music (I am a computer programmer so I use the programming section quite a bit though), so please let me know if I am missing anything!

EDIT: Ultimately I am writing a melody. Just thought I would clarify.

EDIT 2: The key is B major! (or G# minor I guess. The tonal center of this particular melody is hard for me to judge.)

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    Of great importance is 'what key is it in?' Other factor is 'what notes are after the B6 part?' – Tim Feb 8 '17 at 7:35
  • I can't believe I forgot to mention the key! It is B major! (or its relative minor, G# minor) The notes after the B6 part is what I am trying to figure out. I would include an audio file so you can listen to the melody I have so far, but I don't think stackoverflow lets you attach audio files. – Andrew Meservy Feb 8 '17 at 21:52
  • If the melody begins in E6 (really a colorful variety of E major) then I'm guessing the whole melody is in that key. If it is, then the B6 is a V chord, and the normal way to finish would be by going back to the E6. However, if it really IS in B, the it starte on the IV chord (rather rare) and has already resolved to the tonic, so I would have no idea where to go from there! – L3B Feb 8 '17 at 22:19
  • I guess it really could be in the key of E major. I had not thought of that. All the notes that I have actually used in the melody are both in B major and E major. After playing around with the melody/harmony a little bit, I am beginning to think that using the key of E major is a good idea, however I would not like to resolve the melody right away. If I go straight back to an E6 chord, it seems to end the melody too abruptly. Thank you for pointing this out! I will play around with some more of the options in E major and see if I can find anything! – Andrew Meservy Feb 8 '17 at 22:47
  • If you want to extend the melody and not resolve it too soon, you have several options-- go to IV, back to V, then to I; or stick a vi in there somewhere, perhaps between the IV and the second V. If you're into classical at all, listen to the slow movement of the Rachmaninoff Symphony #2, and see how he extends the opening seemingly forever, merely by shifting between related chords without quite ever going back to the tonic, except at the very end. Since you've used the 6-flavor so far, you'll want for the sake of consistency to keep doing that most of the rest of the way too. – L3B Feb 8 '17 at 22:54
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If the melody begins in E6 (really a colorful variety of E major) then I'm guessing the whole melody is in that key. If it is, then the B6 is a V chord, and the normal way to finish would be by going back to the E6. However, if it really IS in B, the it starte on the IV chord (rather rare) and has already resolved to the tonic, so I would have no idea where to go from there!

In a comment you indicated that you were comfortable with the idea of it being in E, but wanted to make sure you didn't resolve it too soon.

My answer to that is this: If you want to extend the melody and not resolve it too soon, you have several options-- go to IV, back to V, then to I; or stick a vi in there somewhere, perhaps between the IV and the second V. If you're into classical at all, listen to the slow movement of the Rachmaninoff Symphony #2, and see how he extends the opening seemingly forever, merely by shifting between related chords without quite ever going back to the tonic, except at the very end. Since you've used the 6-flavor so far, you'll want for the sake of consistency to keep doing that most of the rest of the way too. As far as the tonal center is concerned, you'll probably know by the end. (Most melodies end on the tonic note.)

I would like to add the following to our conversation in the comment section: The vi, ii, and iii chords are your friends in extending a melody. Along with the V of ii and the V of iii. You'll find that when you do these kinds of manipulations that the melody is becoming harmony-driven, rather than driving the harmony itself, but there's nothing wrong with that. A lot of great melodies are harmony driven.

Good luck and please do post the melody when you are comfortable sharing it.

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You could go back to the B6, then, using the G# as a common note go Bb7, Eb6...

But without hearing your melody, we're just fantasizing.

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I would suggest going to say an Amajor7 chord and then to G#minor. That sounds real nice and keeps you moving towards the key center you are shooting for (Emajor/Gminor).

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