Modes are Fun! -  Dorian

by Nick Kellie

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  • Welcome to a series designed to outline the usage of each mode in a given context. Learning theory can, to say the least, be a little boring - but it is essential if you want to deepen your knowledge and connection with music and improvisation.

    Granted, there are great players who claimed not to know any theory, but they had their own unique methods of figuring things out so they used their own kind of intuitive theory system if you will. Regardless of this, it's far easier to communicate with other musicians using common terminology - you wouldn't learn Lithuanian in order to move to China for example.

    Anyway - I have supplied 5 shapes for the dorian mode - these are not in a key, and rely upon you placing their root notes on the correct fret in order to make them in the right key. For example, shape one or E shape has its root on the 6th string and its the 1st note. So for this shape to be C dorian, that root note must be a C, therefore starting on fret 8 on the 6th string.

    The D shape (shape 2) has its root as the lowest note on the 4th string. Therefore, in order for that root note to be a C, we must start that shape on the 10th fret!

    Good luck and I hope some of these licks act as a catalyst for creativity and inspiration in the realm of modes!

    2 Dorian EDCAG.jpg
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