Modes Crash Course: The Dorian Mode

Dorian Mode

So you’ve just learned about modes and you want to delve into it a bit more. Let’s start off with one of the more popular modes: The Dorian Mode. The Dorian mode is a musical mode that is commonly used in music composition that has a unique sound that is distinct from other modes. It is a type of scale that originated in ancient Greece and was later used during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Today, it is still used in various styles of music, including jazz, rock, and pop.

The Dorian mode is similar to the natural minor scale but with a raised sixth scale degree. This gives the scale a distinct sound that can be both moody and uplifting at the same time. The raised sixth note is what sets the Dorian mode apart from other minor scales, as it creates a sense of tension and release that is not present in other minor scales.

To use the Dorian mode in songwriting, it is important to understand the unique sound of the mode. This can be accomplished by listening to songs that use the mode and analyzing the chord progressions and melodies. Once you have a feel for the sound of the mode, you can start experimenting with it in your own songwriting.

When it comes to using the Dorian mode in songwriting, there are many possibilities. One way to use it is to create a melody that emphasizes the raised sixth note, giving the song a distinct sound that is different from other minor-key songs. This can be heard in songs like “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk.

Another way to use the Dorian mode is to create chord progressions that emphasize the chords derived from the scale. This can be heard in the verse of the classic rock song “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith, which uses a Dorian chord progression that emphasizes the raised sixth note.

Overall, the Dorian mode is a great tool for songwriters who want to create a distinct sound that is both familiar and unique. By using the raised sixth note and creating melodies and chords that emphasize this note, songwriters can create memorable and catchy songs that stand out from the crowd.

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