JRS Survival Guitar Lesson 11: Dorian Mode

The second Mode to learn is the Dorian Mode.

Click on Dorian Mode to hear a midi file example. Note that this D Dorian Mode is played with a D note in the background. Listen how the Mode sounds over this sustained note. This becomes important later, as I teach you to play modally. Hang in there!

The Dorian Mode is shown here, arranged to cover two octaves on the guitar. To play this mode in the key of C (like you did in lesson 10), start the first note of the mode on the 10th fret.

The Dorian Mode is created from notes of the Major Scale. Specificaly, Dorian Mode uses the notes of the Major Scale, starting on the second note of the Major Scale. Example: If you have a C Major Scale (which contains the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C), to create a Dorian Mode you would start on the second note (D). So, your new D Dorian Mode would consist of the notes D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D.

This is a very useful Mode, so I recommend extra work at memorizing it. As you can probably tell by sound of the Mode, it is minor (has a flatted 3rd). This Mode is often used in place of the Minor Scale. Used this way, it adds a nice flavor to your playing.

I’ve stated it before, but let me repeat; learning these Modes has a two-fold purpose. First, you will be able to hook them all together and play in key all over the neck. Second, you will be able to treat each Mode as if it were it’s own scale, and start playing modally. Playing Modally can add all kinds of exotic spice and flavor to your playing.








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