Knoweth Thy Dorian Mode

by Nick Kellie

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  • Welcome to the second lesson in a series of lessons designed to help you internalize scales, be able to change key and know them over your entire fretboard inside and out!

    This time our focus is on the dorian mode - the dorian mode is the 2nd mode of the major scale. If you are unclear on the theory behind modes then please check out Andrew's explanation on the theory board.

    So you can see I have clearly laid out the 5 scale shapes I use in this exercise. And notice that I change key 5 times, but my hand doesn't leave frets 3-5 fret region! This is power! It helps keeping more continuity during improvisation and really shows you that you don't have to just learn one position and keep moving it along the fretboard.

    In this video we focus on playing the scales in fret region 3-5, video 2 is fret region 5-7, video 3 is region 7-9, video 4 region 9-12 and video 5 region 12-15.

    Each exercise in each video follows the same order - chords, scales ascending and descending, then up one scale down the next, then down one scale up the next. Visualization is key so really spend a lot of time memorizing the scale shapes.

    Here is the process I take when learning scale and chord shapes:
    1) Without your guitar, visualize the chord and scale shapes until you are entirely familiar with them mentally.
    2) Once you are confident you know the shapes, only then play them on your guitar. Practice changing between chords to a metronome and play the scales to a strict count.

    Hope you get a lot out of this - I'm aware this can be tedious but it is really a clear cut way of hitting your problem areas square on - this is not something you can do half heartedly... in the long term you will see tremendous benefits from learning your scales this way.






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