Skip to main content Skip to navigation Skip to search

Major Scale Modes - Dorian

  • Background
  • Foreground
Major Scale Modes - Ionian Major Scale Modes - Phrygian

The Dorian mode is the second mode of the major scale. In the case of this mode, the character pitch is the major 6th and is also characterized by the minor 3rd and minor 7th.



Here are the chords we get by stacking 3rds above the root of the scale:

1-b3-5= minor triad

1-b3-5-b7= minor 7th

1-b3-5-b7-9= minor 9th

1-b3-5-b7-9-11= minor 11th

1-b3-5-b7-9-11-13= minor 13th

Here are some other chords we get from combining the notes of the dorian mode:

1-b3-5-6= minor 6th

1-b3-6= minor 6th

1-b3-5-6-b7= minor 6/7

1-b3-5-9= minor (add 9)

1-b3-5-6-9= minor 6/9

1-2-5= sus2

1-b3-b7= minor 7th (no 3rd)

1-5= power chord

The Dorian Mode is most frequently used over minor chords. Be sure to emphasize the sound of the b3, natural 6th and b7th. These are the pitches which define the Dorian Mode.

Shown below are the Dorian Mode Fingering Patterns.

Here are some vamps to use to get the sound of the mode into your ears and fingers:

Vamp #1: (Am7/Am13) (Use A Dorian. All black dots on A)

Vamp #2: (Cm7/F9) (Use C Dorian. All Black dots on C)

Vamp #3: (Em7/A/Em7/A) (Use E Dorian)

Vamp #4: (Bm11/Bm6) (Use B Dorian)