Introduction to the Dorian Mode

by David Wallimann

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  • In today's lesson we'll talk about the Dorian mode. Incorporating that scale to your musical vocabulary is a great way to get into modes as it compliments very well the minor pentatonic scale. Let's start by taking a look at the formula of that mode:


    If we build a 4 note chord over that scale, we'll get a min 7th chord (Root-min3rd-5th-min7th)
    Because there are also other modes that would work over that kind of chord, to make sure that our backing track would fit the true color of the Dorian scale, we'll add to the min7th chord an occasional Maj6th which is very characteristic of the Dorian mode.

    We'll make things interesting here by working in two keys alternating between an E Dorian and C# Dorian. Memorize the few scale suggested positions and strive for a clean and solid technique.

    Have fun!

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