I was curious, is a ii-IV-I-vi a common progression? I am writing a piece up and not sure if I have heard this progression commonly before. Chords I'm using are:

E5 G6(no3rd) Dmaj9(no5th) B7

no its not, the safest progression you can do (literally) is a VI-II-V-I cadence (at least i think its that), so compared to that its pretty odd. i'd say its something like an imperfect cadence. then again if its just a chord sequence its not anything particularly 'out there'.
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well... that G6 isn't a IV, 6 chords are really inversions of seventh chords (this one would be a Emi7 with the 5th omitted). So, in D major that'd be a ii-I-VI, which I can't say I've seen before.

In E minor that would be a i-VII-V, although the Dmaj9 is non-diatonic (D9 would be diatonic in E minor). I think this progression makes more sense in E minor because it begins on a i chord and ends on a V7, which is VERY common. In D major you're ending your progression on a non-diatonic VI chord, which is kinda strange.

That's probably more than you wanted to know, but I hope it helps.
one way of looking at the theory here is to treat the 1st or last chord as the "I" chord not the 3 chord , which would give you this :

b=flat sign

I5 (power chord ) , bIII6 (no 3rd ) ,bVIImaj9,V7

so here you have a perfect cadence V7- I
the inclusion of chords based on bIII and bVII suggests an overall minor feel as this intervals are in the natural minor scale .
The bVII has the major 7th (C#) the major 6 so as well as arpeggio tones the E dorian modal scale would work well here .
you could use the Eharmonic minor over the V7
This is my point of view , over to you
Last edited by damienguitar at Mar 21, 2007,
Thanks. No such thing as more than I wanted to know, I just like to soak it all up. Diatonic, I am at a loss. I see that all over the place but do not know what it means. Tonic = root, Di = 2??!!??
diatonic = seven tones
dia=7 tonic = tones

any scale with 7 tones is diatonic !
does that clear it up for you ?
basically, diatonic means each note will appear only once.
A non-diatonic chord progression would be, for example
E major to G major.
Why is non-diatonic?
E major is E G# B, and G is G B D.
G and G# conflict and make it non-diatonic. Doesn't necessarily reflect the sound of the progression itself.
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your progressoin isn't common, but not unheard of. because of the way these chords lead into others, your progression could go into an endless loop without any final cadence. The I chord in your progression isn't really being focused on in the progression as the IV doesn't have the tendency tones that the V or viiº do. Although there is nothing wrong with the progression, the listeners won't really have a chord to latch on to as the tonic. By throwing a chord with the leading tone (V or viiº after the IV occasionally, the progression would sound a lot more stable to the listener