I'm toying around with an idea, but at the same time trying to see where it lands when thrown at music theory.

I rather enjoyed Gm, A, Dm/A as the basis and looked up the key. The only thing that seemed to fit was D Harmonic Minor.

Based on this, it appears that my progression would be iv-V-i. The problem I am running into is that the only thing I can seem to resolve it with is re-using iv leaving me with a iv-V-i-iv progression.

This sounds fine by itself, but when I loop it in half notes to just sit and take it in, it begins to feel odd hearing the Gm repeat. Obviously just those chords won't be the song, but I played around with different version of Gm to use for the end of the progression and it seemed worse than just using the Gm

So I guess my two (sorry about that) simple questions are this:

  • Is there a better chord to substitute the last iv with? I spent hours looking at different progressions for modes and major/minor, but with this being harmonic minor it threw me off when trying to see what naturally wants to resolve back to iv and I couldn't find much. The standard major and minor (I guess Ionian and Aeolian?) seem to have charts for days for what chords likes to lead into what, but I couldn't find anything for harmonic minors.
  • Do I even need to go back to iv? Like I said, it feels like it wants to, but I guess that would happen naturally when I start the progression again and I guess if/when I feel it necessary, I could just end with the iv.

3 Answers 3


Playing your progression I found playing an A7/G to be a good substitute for repeating the Gm. You still have the G in there on the bottom, with a strong pull of the dominant. It sounded best to me to end with only the tonic rather than a Dmin chord. Using Dmin/A gives it a more restless feeling and that's probably why you feel the need to resolve it like that.

  • Toyed around with the A7/G. I think that's a winner. A little too dissonant in the progression as just a chord by itself, but I think it'll work wonders when actually applied. It definitely feels at home at the end to me.
    – TyCobb
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 3:22

There is no such thing as the key of D harmonic minor. That is a scale. Your key is most likely D minor.

You can end your chord progression with any chord that sounds right and works for you. You shouldn't get caught up with what it should be because of what is standard. In fact; think outside the box and come up with something non-standard. That's progress!

By the way, when I played through your chord progression, I quite liked it ending on another A, but that's just me.

  • I knew there wasn't a key, but thought there were different progression rules surrounding the harmonic minor because of the example wikipedia had where it was showing a different set of roman numerals than what the regular minor was listed under. I am kind of liking that A. Thanks for that.
    – TyCobb
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 3:04

Basically, you can do almost anything you want. Two ideas come to mind (mostly from a classical POV), one is to substitute the last iv with a VI (Bb in your case) and the other is to substitute the last iv with a VII or VII7 (C in your case). In either case, you could end by extending the tonic at the end (in addition to some rhythmic change to signal that something is happening.) There are lots of other possibilities but I assume you don't want to tinker with the main idea too much.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. You are right I don't want to tinker with this too much, mainly because I already have. I will shortly pull the trigger and just start creating. I went down the rabbit hole to hopefully learn more stuff, but I haven't crawled back out yet haha. Time to come back up.
    – TyCobb
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 3:10

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