Need Help Analyzing My Own Progression


I’m a long time musician that knows a little theory but I really do everything by ear. As an exercise I wrote a riff on guitar and then attempted to analyze it by creating a hookpad project to understand exactly what I wrote and also perhaps write new parts. I cannot add the chords the way I want to and I’m trying to understand why. Basically the progression starts with Em - Em7 - Em6 - cM7 - FM7sus4 . I think it would be in C major but for the life of me can’t figure out how to get the Em6 as an available chord. Any help understanding why would be greatly appreciated . Thanks in advance.

This is gonna sound messed up but this is what you need to get an em6

Put in
C#m7 b5/E

6 chords are actually inverted chords but can be used in this way, but it does mean that the theory is a bit confusing to get them diatonically, especially as the c# in an em6 isn’t in the e minor scale.

Using the key of D Major, or B Minor instead of E minor, will mean that c# is in key.

Thanks for the prompt response! I had edited my post to include the additional chords of cM7 - FM7sus4 in my progression. I assumed the key was C major but not knowing how to get the Em6. Not sure if with the added context that helps understand my question better. I assume it can’t be D major/B minor due to the FM7sus4 instead of the F#, is that right?

I can’t say it’s a great sounding progression, but here it is working in A minor.

I’m not great at theory myself, but i don’t really like the progression because that c# is a really dissonant note, and because of that you want a strong resolution for it, and the strongest resolution of any interval is a half-step. So to my ears, a Cmajor in place of the Cmaj 7 is much stronger (with how i’m assuming you are playing it on guitar).

I’d maybe try something more like. Em7,Em6,C,CMaj7,F

To my ear, when dealing with this sort of dissonance, you want a stable base to land on. Fmaj7Sus4 is a really unstable sound, so to my ear, landing on a normal F, sounds more grounded.

I really wish the link export was already working for hookpad, but here is me playing through your progression, and then my version.

If you are interested in some more theory stuff as well, this video really helped me understand this stuff a lot better. It’s long but worth it.

Hope this helps!

Or just keep the same scale and use add13 on a root position chord.

Actually, Dorian instead of Major too, that way you don’t need the altered b5.

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Good tip about the add13, had no idea. He’s gonna need a modulation no matter what scale he choses though.