The Dorian Mode

The Dorian Mode

Formula     W       H        W        W         W         H          W

D Dorian  D   E         F       G   A          B          C           D

Interval    R       M2      m3     P4        P5        M6*      m7        P8

Characteristic Pitch: Major 6th

Characteristic Progressions: Im-IV or Im-IIm

Following the major scale formula from the second degree creates the Dorian mode, a bluesy sounding mode with a minor tonality.  What sets the Dorian mode apart from the natural minor scale is its characteristic pitch, the major 6th degree.  This pitch causes the Dorian mode to sound less dissonant than the natural minor scale.  Dorian is a favorite choice of rock, blues, and jazz guitarists for this reason.


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