Dorian

The Dorian mode

Home of the II chord

Preview Video Lessons

A Dorian scale shapes


When to use the Dorian mode

The Dorian mode is sometimes used in jazz-influenced music as a blanket scale when soloing.

Miles Davis’ ‘So What’, Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’ and Stevie Wonder’s – ‘I Wish‘ all call the Dorian mode home. So does ‘Scarborough Fair‘ and ‘Mad World‘.

Should you use the technique of playing a new scale every time the chord changes, you would use the Dorian mode every time you solo over chord II.

Below is the scale formula in relation to the Minor Pentatonic:

Minor Pentatonic:1
m3
4
5
b7
Dorian:2
6

To learn to play the Dorian mode you must first practice each shape individually (see first five videos above), then connect the five shapes.

In the step by step guitar courses, we dive deep and find many variations when practicing Dorian. For example, as you work your way through all five shapes, you’ll play them in every key and even vary the rhythm of the exercises.


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Preview Video Lessons

Connect Dorian scale shapes


This exercise connects the Dorian shapes in Am, when you can do this, try all other key and push that BPM!

Also, you wanna find variations to this exercise. What rhythmical pattern are you working on when practicing the chromatic exercises at the moment, can you use them instead of the triplets?

Pairing exercises like this is a great idea, in the advanced step by step course, we synchronize your entire practice routine like this.

When you can do it in A as the video demonstrate, try it in D, G, C, F, and all other keys.


Preview Video Lessons

Dorian and the cycle of 4th


This exercise takes the Dorian mode and runs it through the cycle of 4th, always moving to the closest shape possible.

Make sure your transitions are exactly as in the video lesson.

The full exercises move like this:

A Dorian – E shape, D Dorian – A shape, G Dorian – D shape, C Dorian – G shape, F Dorian – C shape.

This then starts one fret up, on a Bb.

Watch the video lesson for a demonstration.


Related Pages


Course

Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords, arpeggios, and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

To see all lessons in the advanced course, go to Advanced Guitar Course


Exercises

These are pretty advanced exercises. You’ll be playing 7th note chords, arpeggios and modes all over the neck.

But don’t fret – As you’ve already mapped out the fretboard with pentatonic scales and barre chords, extending the concept is actually really simple.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Advanced Guitar Lessons


Tunes

Learn how to play famous advanced songs.

‘Angels’, ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Cannonball’, ‘Close To You’, ‘Creepin’ In’, ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’, ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘Over The Rainbow’, ‘Roxanne’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, ‘Take Me To The River’, ‘Tears In Heaven’, and ‘Wish You Were Here’.

To preview each song, go to Advanced Acoustic Songs


Sign Up Now

A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

To sign up now, go to Monthly Subscription