A Beautiful Muse Chord Progression

I heard the track “Explorers” from the new Muse album last week. They used a really pretty chord progression on the outro that caught my ear. Here’s a quick lesson on it!

Here are all the chords I used in the video above. (The notation shows fret numbers on all six strings, EADGBE.)

D: xx0232
Dmaj7: xx0222
D7: xx0212
Gmaj7/D: xx0002
Gm/D: x5533x
D/A: x00232
E/G#: 4x245x
Edim/G: 3x235x
D/F#: 2x023x
Ddim/F: 1x013x
Em7: 0x003x
Em7b5: 0x033x
D: xx0232

Something really fascinating about this progression, part of what makes it sound so compelling, is that there’s a note in each chord that descends by a semitone with every chord change.The way Muse plays it, it’s not really emphasized, but it’s there.

Here’s the note in each chord that follows the descent:

D: D
Dmaj7: C#
D7: C
Gmaj7/D: B
Gm/D: Bb
D/A: A
E/G#: G#
Edim/G: G
D/F#: F#
Ddim/F: F
Em7: E
Em7b5: E

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