First of all, I would like to say hi since this is the first question I've had on this website. I recently came across Officially missing you by Tamia and when I look up the chord progression on Ultimate Guitar, something interesting kept me wondering. The song is in the key of G and the verse goes something like G F#m-B7 Em7 Dm7-G7 CM7 Bm7-Em7 Am7 Dsus4 and the part confused me the most is the use of Dm7 in this progression, is this somekind of temporary modulation from the key of G to C (Dm7 to G7 to CM7 and then back at Em). And what kind of knowledge does this bit involve? As far as I've known, there are stuffs like modulation, toncization, modal interchange, modes, I'd be glad if you guys could point out what I should cover in order to fully grasp the idea and be able to create such interesting progression.

  • When songs move from the I to the IV it is quite common to fill in a ii-V7 leading to the IV, that would make the V chord a ii relative to the IV and the I a Dom 7. This is in almost every version of Rhythm changes used in Bop.
    – user50691
    Jul 20, 2018 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


Tonic chord. Then go 'down one' and start a ii-V7-i7 towards E minor, 'down one' again then ii7-V7-i into C minor. Finally iii7-vi7-ii7-V7(sus), as classic a 'cycle of 5ths' back to the dominant of G as you're ever likely to see!

You can explain this by fragmenting it into a series of modulations to new temporary tonics. Or you can embrace it all within G major. Dm can indeed be ii7 in C minor. But it is also allowed to be v7 in G major.

If you've got a collection of 'hot licks' to play over ii-v-i it might be useful to look at it the first way. Or you can look at the broader picture and let each of those chords be what it is in G major.

'Notes outside the scale do not necessarily affect the tonality'. Walter Piston, Harmony.

  • Actuallly, the chord is not Cm7 but CM7 (due to my error while typing), then what's your opinion?
    – TriNguyen
    Jul 18, 2018 at 16:07
  • You mean C7? Or C(maj7)? No difference, except that it keeps us even closer to a G major tonality.
    – Laurence
    Jul 18, 2018 at 19:48
  • It's Cmaj7. So if I understand your explanation correctly, then one way to explain this is that there are some temporary modulations to Em and C using ii V I ? I'm sorry cause this is pretty new to me :))
    – TriNguyen
    Jul 19, 2018 at 3:17
  • Yes, as I said, that's one way of looking at it. But don't lose the big picture. We're still firmly 'in G major'. That 'temporary tonic' isn't THE tonic.
    – Laurence
    Jul 19, 2018 at 13:29
  • Yeah, can't thank you enough. Have a nice day sir.
    – TriNguyen
    Jul 20, 2018 at 5:11

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