Modes lesson 3- The DorIan mode

The DorIan mode or scale is the second of seven modes.  IT is a minor scale and the formula is as follows

Root, Major 2nd, minor 3rd, 4th, 5th, Major 6th, minor 7th

It is like a natural minor scale but with a raised 6th.

The D dorIan scale is the same as a C major scale.  Both scales have exactly the same notices but you start On C for C major and D for D dorIan.

Common players who use this mode are

Carlos Santana

ToNi Iommi


Here is a riff by Soundgarden using.The Dorian.scale

TheDorIan mode also works well over Minor Vamps and m7th and m9th chords.




Remember: It isn’t where you start and stop in the major scale, it’s the chord or chord progression you play over. A Cmajor scale played over a D minor chord is a D dorian scale whether you start on the C note or not. But you should make an effort to start on a chord tone, in other words, if you are playing D dorian over a Dmin7 chord, you should put emphasis on the D, F and A notes (the 7th is okay as well if the chord is a 7th chord

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