If we had a dollar every time a student asked about the Dorian mode and how to best apply it as a harmonic and improvisational tool, we'd be writing this description from our Tahitian beach palace overlooking the vast blue yonder. Since its doubtful anybody will be funding our Tahitian fantasy anytime soon, we thought we'd unleash Brad Carlton and let him sink his teeth into this intensive Guitar Lab examination covering harmonic, improvisational and comping applications of the Dorian Mode.
As usual, Brad leaves no stone unturned, "We'll explore a wide range of fretboard layouts for the Dorian mode based on various numbers of notes per string. These layouts and the resultant scale forms will provide different avenues of playing this seven-note minor scale, which will break you out of fingering ruts so common among guitarists. You'll also learn the diatonic triads of the Dorian mode so students can start thinking harmonically in a tertiary fashion as opposed to a scalar approach based on intervals of seconds."
Brad steps you through ALL of the 2-note, 3-note and 4-note per string forms across ALL seven traditional position forms of the A Dorian mode. Brad's system of organizing the forms is based upon the lowest available note on the sixth string. Whatever scale degree this starting note is will be the title of that scale form.
"Traditional scale forms reside within a four-fret span with each finger assigned to its respective fret. This allows for a first finger extension and a fourth finger extension enabling you to cover a six fret span. So, for example, the lowest available scale form in the A Dorian mode would be scale form V because the lowest available note on the guitar is a sixth string open which is an E. E is the 5 in A Dorian. This process is repeated with each of the remaining six scale degrees."
In the next section of the course, Carlton covers diatonic seventh chords, heptatonic arpeggios, pentatonic subscales, chords scales, simple intervals ranging from seconds to sevenths, and octaves - ALL relating to the Dorian mode.
In the third section of the course, Brad guides you through compound intervals, root fifth and ninth structures, and various arpeggios and chord voicings all of which are subsets of the Dorian mode. You'll get a grip on arpeggios and voicings for Minor Add9, Minor 7, Minor 9, Minor 11, Minor 13, Minor 7/11, Minor 7/6, Minor 7/6/11, Minor 6, Minor 6/9, Minor 7 sus4, Minor 7/6 sus4, 9 sus4, 13 sus4, sus4, sus2, sus2 sus4, 7 no3, 5 and the A Blues scale.
"The videos will show you how to apply these various groups of notes in both your rhythm guitar and lead guitar playing. You'll receive diagrams showing various layouts of this information on the fingerboard. These diagrams will be written in A Dorian but will be in scale degrees, which allow you to transpose the material into any key."
Brad has also prepared 30 practice rhythm jam tracks to work with throughout the course. The tracks cover a variety of styles and consist of a drum groove and bass line. Each of bass lines will support the A Dorian mode and you'll be working through and exploring the Dorian Mode extensively over these tracks to help you visualize the information on the fingerboard, understand the underlying theory and most importantly, learn how to hear the different colors of the Dorian tonality.
So there you have it; everything you need or want to know about the Dorian mode as a harmonic, improvisational or comping tool. Dig deep!