The Dorian Scale has a primitive, minorish, sometimes jazzy quality that is widely used in pop, rock, folk, and modal jazz…
Here, for example, are the notes in the C Dorian Scale identified by letter name, scale degree (numbers), and Solfege syllable…
- The scale structure of the Dorian Scale is always 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7-1, no matter what key you are in.
- The Solfege syllables of the Dorian Scale are always Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Te-Do, no matter what key you are in.
- The only thing that changes when you change keys are the letter names.
Comparative Scale Study
It is musically-appropriate to think of the Dorian Scale as the minor version of the Mixolydian Scale.
Mi gives the Mixolydian Scale a major flavor, while Me gives the Dorian Scale a minor flavor.
The Dorian Scale in Action
Would anyone like Frank to insert audio for these examples?
Evil Ways (Santana) : Tonality G Dorian
So What (Miles Davis) Tonality: D Dorian
Too Late Baby (Carol King) Tonality: A Dorian
Riders on the Storm (The Doors) Tonality: E Dorian
Solfege Ear Training
Reading, playing, and singing the Solfege syllables out loud is an extremely effective way to internalize the unique sound-feeling of each note in the scale.