# modes....ARGHHH

kk4joq
Registered User
Joined: 11/17/16
Posts: 3
01/17/2017 1:59 am

hoping someone can help me gain clairity here and tell me if I am on the right track or point me in the right direction.

Suppose I am in the key of G and I wish to play in dorian mode. The way some people explain it, i would find the 2nd degree of the g major scale which would be A and playing from A to A, this would give me the dorian mode of G. But looking at the dorian mode pattern, we know it is 1- 2-b3-4-5-6-b7 so if i just play G major and flat the 3 and 7th is that not dorian?

Example would be :

-----------------------2--3--5

---------------3--5-----------

--3---5----6-----------------

Lets now suppose I an in the key of A and want to use dorian. Again if I play the A major scale and adjust the 3rd and 7th, this would be A dorian.

------------------------------------4--5--7

------------------------ 4--5--7-----

----------------5----7---------

---5---7---8-------------------

Am I on the right track? Someone keep me from pulling my hair out lol

jarkko.eklund
Full Access
Joined: 09/25/13
Posts: 212
01/17/2017 5:43 am

You are on the right track with your logic. Dorian mode is both a second mode of the major scale and a major scale with b3 and b7.

These are the two ways you can use modes:

a. relative:

D Dorian is C major scale starting on the second degree (note D)

b. parellel:

C Dorian is C major scale with b3 and b7

ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,456
01/17/2017 4:06 pm

Jarkko's reply is right. Thanks for jumping in, Jarkko!

Originally Posted by: kk4joq

Suppose I am in the key of G and I wish to play in dorian mode.

[p]Modes can be confusing. And the 2 different possible explanations you posted are a good example of why!

In general, there are 2 ways of looking at modes & you have to specify which one you mean.

1. Structural: each mode relates to a parent scale. So you are always in G major, and the various modes are just ways of playing the G major scale, but starting on each note in turn. Often this is used to stay in one key, but play over the chord changes within the key.

2. Ornamental: You just play whichever mode you like the sound of at the time regardless of the key. This requires that you know & apply the scale or mode interval formula.

I have 2 tutorials on modes that cover both of these approaches in detail.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=370

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=770

Hope this helps! Have fun with modes!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
kk4joq
Registered User
Joined: 11/17/16
Posts: 3
01/18/2017 1:23 am

Thanks for the replies! I am gonna take the lessons Christopher listed and hope that will give me more insight! Thanks again!