As I promised on the new years resolution blog, here is the first installment of the series of modal backing tracks. I thought I’d start with one of the most popular and adaptable scales; dorian. Dorian is most often heard in jazz, funk, soul, disco, R&B and Latin inspired music.
Dorian is the second mode of the major scale (after the Ionian/Major scale). In this track we’ll be using D Dorian which is created by taking the C major scale and instead of playing C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C and you play the same notes starting from D. This makes D Dorian; D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D.
For those of you you that prefer seeing scales based on there spellings, Dorian is 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7. This makes Dorian only one note different to the natural minor scale, the natural 6. One of the biggest mistakes I see with people starting to explore modal improvisations is the avoidance of the notes that give the scale its characteristic flavor. In Dorian the 6th degree of the scale gives the scale its tonality so try to incorporate it often at first till you ear becomes accustomed to the tonality.
Here are two shapes for this scale with the root on the E and A strings;
If you want to use this backing track but haven’t tackled major modes yet then try C major and A minor shapes (and the relative pentatonic scales).
Let me know what you think of the backing track and what you would like to see next. Hit like if this was useful and follow for more backing tracks and guitar posts!