Chords of the Dorian Mode - With Andrew Wasson

Specific chords can be used within chord progressions that will anchor the sound of the Dorian mode. This lesson discusses some those options with examples.

Ultimate Guitar
Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his famous Guitar Blog website:

Q). I'm trying to develop the Dorian Mode right now. However, I'm having a lot of problems deciding which chords in Dorian's harmony work the best to bring out its character. The one I've read of, is the fourth chord of the Dorian key. And, by using it as a Major chord, Dorian works well. But, there must be others. So, can you cover this in a lesson for viewers? Thanks Andrew!
Scott G. - San Francisco, CA. USA

A). The chords found within a modes harmony are the key factors to its overall use and its application. By composing the most stable chord progressions, (with chords that will bring out the modes character), you'll have the best situations for jamming in (and for getting as good as you can be at using the mode). In the video I cover some of the best chords that can be applied within Dorian chord progressions. The chords discussed in the lesson will bring out the color of the mode when composing melodies, or when performing improvisation.


YouTube preview picture

Summary: One of the most popular Dorian chords is the use of a Major IV chord in a Minor key progression. However, there are others. For example, the use of Mi6 chords off of the Root chord of a key. Or, the use of a Mi9 chord upon the Vth degree of a Minor key harmony. In the video lesson, I discuss these, as well as, other chords that can offer a very stable foundation for the application of the Dorian Mode. Enjoy! 

About the Author:
By Andrew Dawson. Hundreds of more free lessons available at

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Man why did it take UG so long to feature stuff from Andrew WASSON (not Dawson...) and Creative Guitar Studio? This guy has a crazy amount of stuff on his site/youtube page. Very good teacher, with great lessons.