( Play it from 1:12 to start from the [B] part )

enter image description here

enter image description here

what is that D#m7(11) ? how does that leads to Gmaj7 ?

2 Answers 2


The V7 in GMaj is D7, and the tritone substitution for D7 is Ab7. The minor ii chord which leads to Ab7 is Ebm, the chord you're seeing here. Normally, we would see | Ebm7 | Ab7 | GMaj |, but here the V7 chord is omitted. So in terms of function, I recommend thinking of this as the first half of a tritone substitution which resolves straight to GMaj without first passing to the V7 chord.

In addition, something else that's happening here is parallel movement. The min7(11) chord starts on F#m7(11), then moves down a whole step to Em7(11), then moves down a half step to Ebm7(11). This sort of parallel movement is worth mentioning because it can appeal strongly to the ear even when it doesn't follow any traditional harmonic function. When seeking to understand why this sounds good, we'll want that parallel movement to be part of the explanation, too.

  • Wow thanks your answer really helped a lot ! Can I think the glissando after the D#m7(11) kinda replaced..? The Ab7 ? And what do you mean by "any traditional harmonic function" ? When you're talking about the parallel motion on the F#m7(11) Em7 (11) ? Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 0:16
  • Yes, you can think of the glissando in that fashion, although it's not a substitution in the sense that the glissando doesn't serve the same role as a V7 chord. My comment about parallel movement is really just that those minor chords aren't diatonic. Instead, the idea is to take a chord and move it around chromatically, by whole steps, etc.
    – jdjazz
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 21:39

I have arranged (and played) that piece in classical guitar (that part starts in measure 26 in my sheet; my arrangement is transposed a fifth).

I myself tend to see the last chord of the (parallel) sequence F#m11 Em11 D#m11 as an (altered) tritone substitution for A7 (here it would rather be a A13), the dominant (not of the following chord but ) of the tonic of the passage (which is D major). Of course, this is rather contrived (for one thing: the G# note...) and I don't know much about harmony, so take this with a grain of salt.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.