Dorian Scale: Theory & Ear Training

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The Dorian Scale has a primitive, minorish, sometimes jazzy quality that is widely used in pop, rock, folk, and modal jazz…

Theory

Here, for example, are the notes in the C Dorian Scale identified by letter name, scale degree (numbers), and Solfege syllable…

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  1. The scale structure of the Dorian Scale is always 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7-1, no matter what key you are in.
  2. The Solfege syllables of the Dorian Scale are always Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Te-Do, no matter what key you are in.
  3. 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.

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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.

C Dorian Scale: Linear Ascending…

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C Dorian Scale: Linear Descending…

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C Dorian Scale: Do-X-Do Ascending…

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C Dorian Scale: Do-X-Do Descending…

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learn more… Lydian Scale: Theory & Ear Training