Why do these chords sound good together?!

  1. It’s called “modal interchange”, where you borrow a chord from the parallel major or minor key. In this case, you’re in the key of Am, the D is coming from A major and then resolving to the Dm you’d naturally find in Am. This is a little less common than the opposite, being in a major key and borrowing from the parallel minor. Listen to The Eagles’ “Desperado” for a good example of that.

  2. Along with the modal mixture, you may also have a chromatically descending line in the last three chords (depending on voicing): G in G, F# in D, F in Dm, back to E in Am.

  3. It creates a chromatic line from the root of the G chord to the 3 and b3 of the D and Dm. This kind of modal interchange is beautiful. It’s often used in the minor plagal cadence IV iv I

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