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The dorian mode is the 2nd mode of major, and for a long time I didn't really understand how to use dorian or what it was for. In this video, I want to teach you the basics behind how it's built, how it relates to major and minor, and also how to build its chords. From there we will take a look at some examples of the i-IV change and how different artists use it, as well as general musings on dorian as it relates to the guitar.
Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.
Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!
Hey, welcome back to another lesson. I'm Jake lizzio. And in this video. I want to talk to you about the Dorian scale me personally, the Dorian scale was a really hard scale to wrap my head around I couldn't really put an identity on it. I didn't have a good idea in my head of what it sounded like whereas certain scales like harmonic minor were extremely easy for me to identify and kind of you know label Dorian was always mysterious to me that might be because I don't have a really strong Jazz background, but regardless in this video, what I want to do is teach you what the Dorian scale is. Why is it a mode of the major? ER scale I want to help you big figure out the chords of the Dorian scale and then I want to talk to you about what is the deal with Dorian? What does it sound? Like? What does it feel? Like, how can we use it? And where do we hear it in actual music? The only prerequisite for this video is understanding the major scale and major scale degrees. So if you're uncomfortable with those topics, I've linked to two videos in the description check those out before you dive into this video. So let's get started. A Dorian scale can be built by using these scale degrees.
And today. I'm going to build them all starting on a so a will be my one a will be mine. Route and from there. I just have to play it to on flat 3 a 4 a 5 a 6 a flat 7 and then I can go back to my roots.
So those notes ABCDE F sharp G and H are the notes of an a Dorian scale.
That's all fun and dandy, but let's talk about the chords. I think that's a little bit more interesting and to figure out the chords. Here's all we have to do start on your first note a and start skipping notes a c and e those three notes a see it. See, that's an A minor chord. So my first chord that I'm allowed to play is a minor today though. I want to go a step further. I normally just stopped at the Triad. Let's add another note to my a minor chord. So let's skip another note. Hey Cee, let's skip to G and let's add that note to my a minor chord that will give me an A Minor 7, which is a more smooth kind of, you know, it's a variation of your minor chord and I think it's got a little bit more color to it. And what I'm working in Dorian. I really enjoy using the extended chords as opposed to just using the majors and minors. So in this video, I'm not just going to be showing you these Triads like I normally do I want to show you these extended chords. So by performing this operation of just skipping notes starting on the first note. I got an A Minor 7 chord, if I do that again, I can starting on the 2nd note. I'll get my second chord, which is B minor 7.
If I do it again starting on the third note. I get the notes of a C major 7 chord. That's my three-chord.
My fourth chord would be a d seven a dominant seventh chord by doing that starting on the 4th note 5th note is E minor 7.
Six chord IS F sharp half diminished or have sharp minor 7 flat 5 and then the last chord here that we be allowed to play is G major 7 and then finally, I'm allowed to come back.
Now when I did that didn't this G major 7 kind of feel like that's where I should have stopped didn't that feel like we're finally home and it's because we were I mean we are in a mode of major which basically means that every note I played for you every chord. I played from you it all came from a major. Dale and specifically it came from the G Major scale, but we weren't thinking about gee until I finally play you that cord.
And that's the whole idea of working with modes is we're using a major scale but we're kind of concealing the tonal center of the original major scale today. What we're going to be doing is saying forget about G forget about that know, let's let's focus on a let's use the notes of G major. Let's use the chords of G major but let's focus on the 2nd note of G major which is a we call that a Dorian by doing that I create the Dorian.
Feel we can hear a little bit of Dorian just by me playing an A Minor 7 chord and doing a little bit of improvising using the a Dorian scale up on top of that. Let's see what that sounds like.
It's got this kind of smoky flavor to it. It's not really dark and violent.
Minor keys, but it's got a little bit of optimism to it and a little bit of flare that I really like. This is the kind of thing you hear Carlos Santana do a lot and a lot of different jam bands. They like Dorian because it's got the chilled-out versions. It's got all that relaxing part of minor, but it's got a little bit of energy to it more so than the minor scale normally does now, that's what the Dorian scale sounds like just as a lead device, but to me Dorian chord progressions are really fun personally the one to four change in a Dorian is the only Jam you'll ever need if you want to play in a jam band. So our 1 chord was a minor 7.
Our 4 Chord is d 7 and just by putting those two chords together you get a wonderful little to cord Jam that just absolutely rocks in a band set and that D7 you could extend it into a D9 you could play it just as a D major, you know, there's a lot of options there and there's different inversions are going to give you different sounds but check it out just to to core Jam a minor 7 and D7 gives you this wonderful Dorian.
Now that Ford Ford really is the heart of all things Dorian and my opinion, so if I wanted to drop the extended chords for a while and I just wanted to go into my regular Cowboy chords my aim. Minor chord would be my 1 chord in the key of A Dorian since from a little bit of a minor. I can go to that three chord, which is C which is nice, but I'm allowed to do that in the key of A minor. There's nothing unique about that c major right? There's nothing that makes the c major all of a sudden this doesn't put me into the key of A Dorian. I'm still I could be in the key of A minor but as soon as I play a D major Triad that D major Triad really kind of kicks us into Dory and immediately.
You're not allowed to play an F sharp. Type in the key of A minor but in the key of A Dorian, you're allowed to play the note F sharp. And guess what there is and that D major chord. There's an F sharp right here.
So to me, you might be able to hear that this Dorian chord progressions kind of wistful.
I think it like Bob Seger music, you know, I think of lots of Pink Floyd and I'll give you a few Pink Floyd examples right away the first example, I'll give you from Pink Floyd's The Wall. It's mainly the minor but eventually for those verses we go over to a G major which is going to be the major for Also in breathe breathe is a famous me minor a major.
So that would be the key of E Dorian Gray. I've got a minor one chord and I've got a major four chord also in any color you like. We've just got a minor one chord to a major four chord.
Now I just want to make some generalizations about the Dorian mode and how it relates to the other stuff that I work with to me. Dorian is great. If you want something that's kind of dark and murrow's like minor but miners just too much. My inner can be very dark and it can be very sad. And sometimes you want something that's like not that depressing. You really don't want to bum people out or scare them and I feel like Dorian is a good middle ground.
It's not as bright as major and it's certainly not Not as dark as minor, so I find it's that good, you know, happy medium between the two I also find like I said, it works great for Santana asking music, you know oye como va is just a minor one to a major for that's pretty much the entire song.
So we've looked at how the scale looks all on its own starting at on a we've also looked at how it relates to G major, but now I want you.
Compare a Dorian to a minor because these two are very very similar. If you look at the notes of the a minor scale and if you look at the notes of the a Dorian scale, you'll see the only difference is that sixth note in a minor?
I would have a natural F right but in a Dorian I get that F sharp, so it's a raised Sixth and that's really one of the ways I think about door and I say, oh it's just a minor scale, but I've raised the six note. I have a natural sixth in my minor scale and An easy way to kind of think of things and also is a lead player. I know that I want to be highlighting that sixth note if I want to create a Dorian flavor. I mean, for example if my jam is just one chord if the band is just playing a minor 7, then there's nothing that makes that Dorian, you know, this could be a lot of keys right now. This could be a phrygian.
All these notes are in a fridge and this could be the key of A minor right? But there's the only thing that would make a Dorian is if somebody comes in and starts playing North notes from the Dorian.
And I could do that as a lead player by playing just that six that natural six note and surrounding it by some of the other notes of of a Dorian us guitar players. We love the pentatonic minor scale a zde GAC deg and all of those notes are in Dorian.
So I really get access to that awesome rocking pentatonic shape with all those cool bends and all the things that guitar players practice. I get access to that when I'm jamming and Orion and then seamlessly I can just kind of Infuse.
Story and notes whenever I want to and I get a little bit of that Dorian flavor on top of my jamming. So I really hope this helps you out in understanding.
What is the Dorian scale and more importantly understanding modes modes are one of those topics there is just an endless amount of confusion on and I was reading some comments on the internet today and I heard somebody talking about how guitar players make it even worse. So I really apologize if this is making things more confusing, but I only know from my experience that I learned the modes in a week.
Okay it took me one week. Learning but it took me like literally three years to understand them. I just kept thinking all you start the major scale on the second note. This whole idea of tonal Center just was completely Beyond me. So I hope that the by these using these demonstrations it's kind of helping you see these scales and different lights and I really don't want you to see it in just one light for me. It was by looking at these things from different angles. We're finally the light bulb came on and I was finally able to start working seamlessly between these modes relatively and in parallel. So if you like this video, please subscribe. Scribe like comment share all that stuff really helps me out. And if you really like this video, then you can check out my patreon page where you can support these lessons going forward. Thanks for watching.