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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Modes: Dorian

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Okay we're going to dive into modes
starting with the next one after Ionian
which is Dorian.
Dorian is very important mode
in jazz there's a couple of,
I think I may have even
mentioned this before.
There's a couple of very important
jazz songs that are based completely
on this mode.
More than a couple, quite a few.
And but the most famous one is So What by
Miles Davis on The Kind of Blue album.
The best selling jazz album of all time.
Very important inseminal album.
And so what is a very common song,
many, many people have played it.
This is another song by
John Coltrane called Impressions.
So Dorian has played a big role in,
in contributing to jazz improv and
it's used quite a bit.
It's based on the second
degree of the scale, right?
So, let's move down to the fifth string,
here's a C major scale down there.
And the Dorian mode starts here,
on the second degree of that.
So actually the, the C, the root of
the C scale has now been demoted,
it's not the center of
the universe any more.
It's now second fiddle.
So, we're starting on D, so
that's the really important note, okay?
And let's,
let's move up to this vision here.
So we can comfortably get
two octaves in there.
In the modes, I think there's a concept
that helped me understand it at one point,
which is that you've heard the phrase,
everything is relative.
Things really mean something different in,
in the context of that it's used in.
Some things can be very
important in certain context and
important at all in another context.
Now that we're using the notes
in a C scale starting from D,
everything is gonna be relative to D and
the construction.
Will be thought of in relative sense to D,
rather than C?
And so it's a minor scale, as I explained
when we were doing the minor scales.
The third is minor.
Now I'm comparing it to
a D major scale now.
I don't wanna get too confused.
But it, now the tonal center is D.
Even though we're playing a C scale.
What I'm going to be talking about now is
comparing Dorian, D, Dorian, to D major.
Okay, so just bear that in mind.
I don't want you to get confused.
We're using a C major scale.
But, when I talk about its construction,
I'm talking about how it's different from
playing D major scale or
regular D minor scale.
So it's a minor, it's a minor scale.
Cuz instead of D major would be.
It's D minor.
The fifth, the fourth and
the fifth are the same as
the D major scale, right.
even the sixth is the same
as a major scale.
Now remember you can refer back to my
construction of the Dorian mode when we
were learning the minor scales relative to
the major scale before.
And the seventh degree
is a flatted seventh.
Again, comparing it to D major.
So the difference is here.
I take the third and lower it and now I'm,
I'm gonna stay the same for the next
three notes and lower the seventh.
And then I'll continue up the octave.
And there's your dorian mode.
Let's go back.
Remember, it's really just a C
major scale starting from D.
But relative to the tonal center of D,
relative to D as a standalone thing,.
It's got its very own strong
characteristic sound.
It's got a sound.
There's another way, to think of it.
The emphasis now, you know, the,
the phrase you gotta put
the emphasis on the right syllable.
[LAUGH] That's, that's gonna come into
play here because now the emphasis
of this bunch of notes that come from
the key of C, the emphasis is now on D.
And so everything relating
back to D you emphasize that.
Now I did that fast.
Let me do it slow.
Emphasis D.
So it resolves strongly to D and
you hear that as the tonal center.
Now, even more poignant in,
in showing its true character
would be to take the chords
that are derived from that, and
there's a certain chord progression
that really spells out,
it really exemplifies Dorian.
And each of the modes that we look at and,
are gonna use each one has
a characteristic chord progression or
chordal sound that we
can use to play over.
That will you know really spell out and
give us a strong tonal
color of what it is.
So remember we built a chord
scale over the major scale.
if you start down on D
Let me go
switch positions there.
If you start out in D, it give,
gives it a different sound.
actually there's two chords in particular,
relative to this tonal center of D.
And one is, that, that the second chord
is another minor seven.
One is a minor seven.
And two is a minor seven.
Now we're borrowing it from the key of C,
where those are really 2 and 3.
But now it's become
the total center of D right?
So first cord is a D minor 7.
Second cord is a D minor 7.
Now there's a very common pretty well
known song that's kind of built over
those two cords.
It's called moon dance.
And that progression in Moondance.
That song.
Is a typical Dorian progression.
Now listen to that sound,
it's really strong.
a real characteristic
sound of Dorian.
In the play along that we're going to use,
you'll hear that progression played.
And we're going to improvise on top of it.
The other very characteristic
Dorian progression comes from its,
the relationship of the one,
the d minor, with its four chord.
You go up four steps.
It's that domin, that famous dominate
seventh that only occurs once
in the diatonic chord sequence.
That's a very common and
very strong Dorian sound, D minor to G7.
In this case, I'm gonna jazz
it up a little bit, and go to.
To G7 13.
Let, let's put
a diagram up for that.
Those two chord progressions really
spell out the sound, so, you know,
play around with that, just play those
progressions over and over again.
Get that sound in your head.
That's the Dorian sound.
A song that you can relate to that has
those two chords would be there's a vamp
in the song, the famous song by
George Spencer, called This Masquerade.
The song goes through the whole thing,
and then at the end.
They've amped this thing that George just
goes crazy playing over, which is amazing.
Back and forth between B minor 9 and G 13.
So you can check out that.
There's a million songs
that have that progression.
Find the ones that you like,
let me know what they are.
I'd love to hear about them.
And when you find one,
put it on iTunes, put it on your iPad.
Play along with it.
Just get in there and jam on Dorian.
And that's what we're gonna do now.