Minor Progression: The Andalusian Cadence

Another common and very recognizable minor chord progression is called the Andalusian Cadence.

Andalusia is an area in the south of Spain and is the birthplace of Flamenco guitar music. The Andalusian cadence is a common Flamenco chord progression, but it can be found in just about every musical style.

The Andalusian cadence goes: i–♭VII–♭VI–V and back to i.

The Andalusian cadence simply walks down the chords of the minor scale from the i to the V and returns to i.

In the key of A minor the Andalusian cadence would be: Am-G-F-E.

Most people will recognize the song Hit the Road, Jack by Ray Charles which is nothing but a repeated Andalusian cadence the whole way through. Harmony doesn't need to be complicated for a great song.

Getting to Tonic

Once again, this is another progression which leads us to the timeless V to i authentic cadence.

You will see (hear) over and over again that common chord progressions are about getting to the tonic—to the I/i chord. Since the V leads you to the tonic, many chord progressions will lead to the V to finally resolve to the I/i.

Andalusian Song Examples and Exercises

I've included several Andalusian cadence exercises emphasizing the minor diatonic chord positions, and I have listed a number of songs for you to listen to and optionally play. You will be amazed how often this progression happens, and you will start to hear this minor chord progression everywhere.

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