Sounds Of The Dorian B2 Mode, Learn the Chords, Scale, Triads and Arpeggios Built From Dorian b2
The Professor
Apr 19 2013, 01:11 PM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
The Dorian b2 Mode

In this series of articles we will be taking a look at the different sounds that you can build from any mode in the Melodic Minor scale, in particular the chords, scale, triad and arpeggio that go with each mode in the Melodic Minor scale system.

In today’s lesson, let’s take a look at the chords, scale, triad and arpeggio that are built from the 2nd mode of Melodic Minor, the aptly named “Dorian b2” Mode.

Besides learning a fingering or two for this important scale, it is good to know the other melodic and harmonic devices that are built from the Dorian b2 Mode so that you can apply these to your practice routine, as well as build your theory chops so that you recognize when to use the Dorian b2 Mode in your soloing and song writing.

Here is a quick look at each device from the Dorian b2 Mode, with further details provided below to read further.

Attached Image

Dorian b2 Triad and Chords

To begin, there are two main chords that are built from any Dorian b2 Mode, the minor triad and the 7susb9 chord.

The minor triad is built from the Root, b3rd and 5th note of the Dorian b2 Mode, and the 7susb9 chord is built by using the Root, 4th, 5th, b7th and b9th of the same mode.

Each of these items can be played as a whole, to produce the triad/chord, or they can be plucked one note at a time to produce arpeggiated versions, both of which you saw in the tab/notation example above.

So, in the key of D, the minor triad would be:

D F A or R b3 5 of the Dorian b2 Mode

And the 7susb9 chord in D would be:

D G A C Eb or R 4 5 b7 b9

When playing a 4-note arpeggio, you can shrink that down to just a 7sus4 chord, as was shown in the example above, to make it easier to play in a one-octave position.

This knowledge will help you learn to transpose these notes around the neck and into different keys as you learn to build different triads and four-note Dorian b9 Mode-based chords in all 12 keys.

Further Reading

Minor Triads for Guitar

Sounds of the Dorian Mode

Sounds of the Melodic Minor Scale

Theory Exercise

Write out the note for each minor triad and 7sus chord in all 12 keys.

Post your answers below and I will correct them and give you feedback if you are having any trouble writing out the notes of these triads and chords.

Dorian b2 Scale

The Dorian b2 Mode is built from the following interval structure:


In this pattern, whole equals a whole step (2 frets on the guitar) and half equals a half-step (1 fret on the guitar).

So, if you apply that formula to the key of D, as in the example above, you get the following notes.

D (H) Eb (W) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H) C (H) D

Or, you will also see this scale written in numbers as such:

1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1

Since the Dorian Mode, and the Dorian b2 Mode, are both the second modes of the Major and Melodic Minor scale systems, they are also very closely related.

This means that you can think of the Dorian b2 Mode, in theory or on the guitar, as a Dorian Mode with a b2.

So, you can take any Dorian Mode fingering that you know, lower the 2nd note by 1 fret (half-step) and you have yourself a Dorian b2 Mode fingering.

Theory Exercise

Write out the notes of the Dorian b2 Mode, in all 12 keys.

Post your answers below and I will check them out and post feedback, as well as answer any questions you may have on this scale construction.

Learning the structures behind each mode that you are learning on the guitar can help shore up your theory knowledge, as well as make it easier for you to apply these modes to your solos and song writing as you learn to relate them to chords, triads and arpeggios.

If you have any questions or comments, post them below.

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This post has been edited by The Professor: Apr 22 2013, 12:59 PM

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