I was gently touching my guitar earlier this day and i came across a chord progression that is pretty weird but sounds right to my ears. here is how it goes :

E------ C#m ------ G#m ------ A --- F#m --- G --- Em --- F --- Dm --- E

We can notice that there's mainely two parts

First part : E--->G#m where strumming goes full (4 foot steps)
Second part : A --> Dm where the strumming is divided by half (2 foot steps)

I have never studied music, I only play by ear. I tried to describe the progression accurately as best as I can.

My questions are :

  1. How many keys are in the progression ?

  2. How is called the progression in the second part ? so i can look it up bit on the net

  3. How can I improve it ?

Thanks in advance guys.

  • Assuming that your chord progression is in 4/4, i.e. four 'foot steps' make one bar, it could be seven bars long (or even six and a half bars long if the Final E chord is the start of the repeat). There's nothing wrong with a seven bar chord progression- The Beatles' Yesterday is a good example- but it does complicate things. Your description seems to suggest that the first section is three bars long. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but the rhythmic layout affects how we hear a chord progression. Are you able to clarify how many bars long you consider your progression to be? Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


It's a very nice progression indeed!

  1. To my ear, your progression only utilizes two keys. The first half, up through F#m, is a clear progression in E Major. The second half is a progression in C Major. This might sound like a funny conclusion, since you never reach any C Major chords, but the notes of the chords G, Em, F, and Dm only allow for a minor or C Major, and I don't hear it as a minor.

The reason it sounds so neat to use a C Major progression here is because C Major and E Major share what's called a chromatic mediant relationship.

  1. It's a V - iii - IV -- ii relationship. It doesn't have any special name.

  2. It's impossible to say how to improve it without knowing what you are trying to do with it.

Nice going! Keep on fiddling and see if you can't find more wonderful progressions. :)

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