How To Create Awesome Phrygian Chord Progressions

How To Create Awesome Phrygian Chord Progressions

Creating good Phrygian chord progressions is not as hard as it seems. Learn this method and make up your own chord progressions for any mode.

Theory VS Practical Application

    In this lesson from Modal Harmony Workshop, we will see how we can create beautiful Phrygian chord progressions by combining the appropriate chords. Even though we will need to go into some theory here, don't worry if you miss something. Just go on and pay the most attention to the practical application 💪😎🎸.


    Many times it's easier to first see these things in action. Then it becomes much easier for you to come back and fully understand the theoretical explanation 👍.

Video: Chord Progressions For Ionian, Dorian, And Phrygian

7 Chords - Endless Modal Chord Progressions

    There are 7 available chords in each major scale. In C major for example the chords are:

  • C - Dm - Em - F - G - Am - Bdim

    If you prefer seventh chords then our list becomes:

  • Cmaj7 - Dm7 - Em7 - Fmaj7 - G7 - Am7 - Bm7b5

   It's important to understand that any one of these chords can become the tonic chord of a modal chord progression. If I make the Cmaj7 the tonic then my chord progression will be in C Ionian. If I make the Dm7 the tonic then my chord progression will be in D Dorian. Watch the video above to learn more about this.


    So the same 7 chords can be used to make progressions in the 7 relative modes, as long as I emphasize the correct one. If you want to see the available 7 chords (and corresponding modes), you can do that by downloading the Modal Chord Progression PDF Cheat Sheet from another lesson in this series.

Example Phrygian Chord Progression

    Using the 7 chords listed above, here is an example E Phrygian chord progression. The 3 chords used could be a part of a D Dorian or a C Ionian chord progression, but by emphasizing the  Em7, I'm making sure that the listener hears E Phrygian as the mode of this musical passage.

E Phrygian Chord Progression
E Phrygian Chord Progression


    Watch the video above to learn more about this concept. You'll be able to make your own Phrygian chord progressions in no time!

    Prokopis Skordis


Related Courses

SFS Fretboard Secrets
Modal Harmony Workshop
SFS Modes