Dorian is of course a minor mode with a raised 6th note (in red). Let’s look at the D Dorian Scale and it’s harmony.
It’s tonic chord then is a minor chord. So in D Dorian the Tonic chord is going to be Dmin. You could also use Dmin7 or Dmin6. The best fit with the dorian mode is Dmin6 but you don’t have to use it. You could also use D5 (power chord).
Remember primary chords are chords that contain the distinctive note of the scale. In this case the 6th note B. So primary chords are Emin, and Gmaj. Bdim is technically primary under the definition but just sounds awfull. It also has a tritone that will want to resolve to Cmaj so It’s not very useful in D Dorian.
That leaves our secondary chords as Fmaj Amin and Cmaj. You can also add notes to chords, alter and extend them so that they end up containing a the distictive note. For example you could play Cmaj7 and then it has the distinctive note. The main Idea when playing in any mode is make it sound like that mode. the more you use the color tone and refer back to the “tonic” chord or note of the scale the more you will strengthen the color of the mode.
The first two use only one “tonic” chord and one primary chord. They are a little boring but quickly establish the Dorian mode.
Then next two use both primary chords and the “tonic” chord. These are also very strong Dorian progressions.
This next one is a bit odd. I said before that you should stay away from things like IV V I in the major key. Well…Fmaj to Gmaj are the IV and V of C major so this one seems like it would lead you back to Cmaj and no longer sound Dorian. But because the Dmin chord is a fifth above Gmaj this progression actually works pretty well and retains the Dorian color.
This one is similar to the previous one. Instead of Fmaj use Cmaj.
This is another great Dorian progression. Don’t try to do this one backwards though because it will sound like you are in Amin!
This one has a lot of secondary chords in it. It kinda pushes the envelope for how far away from Dmin you can get without sounding like you are in Cmaj
Give these a try, mix them up and try to come up with some of your own!
In all of the above progressions I only used the minor and major open chords.
Don’t limit yourself to these try other types of chords. Below is a list of some different choices.
Dmin options: Dmin6, Dmin7, Dmin6/9, D5(power chord)
Emin Options: Emin7, E5(power chord)
Fmaj Options: Fmaj7, Fmaj69, Fsus2, F6/9, F5(power chord)
Gmaj Options: G7, G9, G11, G13, G5(power chord)
Amin Options: Amin7, Aminadd9, A5(power chord)
Cmaj Options: Cmaj7(this one actually contains D Dorian’s #6,) C6/9, Cmaj9, C5(power chord)
Also you should try different fingerings and inversions of these…. and come up with something musical!