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Fiddle Lessons: The Dorian Mode

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All right.
Well we've got one more scale that I want
to cover in this block of scale
awareness, and this is another kind of a
minor type scale.
It's another mode, it's called the Dorian
And, the Dorians were people, if you know
your Greek history, they made the columns,
that were very undecorated columns where
they, they didn't have much going on.
They didn't have little flowers on them or
They're just straight up and down.
And there's a sort of soberness about this
It's like a minor scale.
I'm gonna play it in the key of D I think.
You know, just for a little variety.
All of the relationships apply.
And so we could, we start on a D.
That's all I can bring in a minor scale,
the difference is that we're gonna make
Sixth note.
We're gonna make it a natural sixth, so
natural minor scale would have a,
if we were playing in, it in D, it would
have, it would sound like this.
So we have that B-flat note,
with the Dorian.
we have a nice kind of a color on that on
particular scale, it's almost like we can
Have a nice pointing toward another chord
in there which is actually very beautiful.
So, just another color for those, those
there's a lot of ballad, minor ballads,
things like that
that are in this mode and it's used quite
a bit,
you know, if you're gonna go to a kind of
a minor type, sound.
So I thought I'd throw that in as just
something that's good,
good to be able to play and know what that
sounds like.
And again, you know, there's all these
different names,
Dorian, Aeolian, major, minor.
It's just, the reason we have these names
for them is so
that we can communicate them to other
musicians, instead of saying, oh, well,
could you play a scale with a it's a minor
scale with a natural six?
Play a scale with the natural six!
You can just say, Dorian.
The Dorian, and everybody understands what
you mean.
It's just a way of communicating quickly.
Because when you're up there in the coffee
shop on stage and
the guitar player's going, what?
It's very easy to just
lean over and say D dorian.
And then they will know what do, we hope.
So a good example of a tune that is kind
of in a dorian mode is the old murder
ballad, Pretty Polly.
This is the quintessential modal, sounding
You know, it's got that minory thing.
It's a little bit, don't quite know what
key it's exactly in.
But it's in Dorian.
So the melody to Pretty Polly is in three
It's a little bit like a blues.
It's got, one pod and then another pod
that's like an answer.
And then the third pod, which is like sort
of wraps up the verse.
So the first melody of the three sections
of, Pretty Polly is
Pretty close anyway.
You hear people, different people sing it
It's traditional music, so there's a
certain amount of leeway in there.
But this is a good, good basic melody,
we have a tune up pickup, one, two, three.
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly come and go
along with me.
So here we go, one, two, three.
So we're doing it in D.
And then the second, which is like an
answer, is.
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly come and go
along with me.
Right, it's the same, same words,
different melody.
So we're gonna start.
Right so we're up here on the E string.
So one, two, three, four.
then, before we get married some pleasure
to see.
Before we get married.
there's slight changes that happen in the
melody, but
I will try to get it consistent here, and
of course.
You'll be able to play these things over
over again, and get a sense of, of how you
wanna do it.
So, Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go
along with me.
Pretty Polly come go along with me, and
before we get married, it's a pleasure to
So, let's try that with the backing track.
One, two, three.
Two, three, four.
Two, three, four.
Two, three, four.
So, you can see that there are pauses in
between each verse, and
I was counting during those, and those
are, generally counted like that.
So Polly, pretty Polly, come go on with me
two, three, four.
Polly, pretty Polly, come go on with me
two, three, four.
Before we get married.
Some pleasure to see two, three four.
So that's the way to make those,
and then we have the opportunity to make
these nice long notes.
[SOUND] Then we need that whole bow.
That thing that we've been practicing.
So have fun with Pretty Poly, beautiful
Now would be a good time to check that
you're feeling good and understanding
about how these scales connect with the
tunes, and how that all works.
So I think it would be good for you to
send in a video of you playing.
One of those four tunes I just taught.
Little Rabbit, Kitchen Girl, Old Joe
Clark, or Pretty Polly.
And tell me what is the scale or the mode
that it's associated with.
Be able to play the scale or mode in one
So play the tune.
Play the mode.
Talk, you know, say what it is, and I'll
give you some feedback on that,
how you're doing.