Dorian Mode

  • The dorian mode is the mode built from the 2nd degree of the major scale
  • Ex. C major C D E F G A B C
  • from that we get D dorian D E F G A B C D
  • We can then say, that these two scales are relative to each other. They have the same key signature . No sharps or flats.
  • Ex. Eb major Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
  • from that we get the F dorian scale (F is the second degree of Eb)
  • F G Ab Bb C D Eb F
  • Again we say that these to scale are relative to each other. They have the same key signature . 3 flats ... Bb Eb Ab.
  • This what we call relative thinking.
  • Another way of constructing the dorian mode would be to convert a major scale to dorian by altering specific scale tones in a parallel way.
  • Ex. C major is converted to C dorian by lower the 3rd and 7th of the C major scale.
  • C D E F G A B C, C major now becomes C D Eb F G A Bb C or C dorian.
  • We have lowered the 3rd and 7th degree.
  • Parallel then means: same starting letter(C) but different key signature. 2 flats Bb and Eb or the Bb major scale.
  • The dorian mode is used to improvise over minor 7th or minor 6th chords.
  • Typical progression would be Cm7 to Dm7 use C dorian.
Frank Axtell
Soundscapes Studios