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Dorian Jam Tracks With Guide Patterns

By Key:   A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G

Dorian is a commonly used scale and mode of the major scale. But it's also a commonly used alternative to natural minor when forming minor key chord progressions. You'll hear Dorian, as a harmonic and melodic system, being used frequently in music old and new.

All the jam tracks below use chords from the Dorian mode and are a good way to train your ear to Dorian's distinctive sound.

Also, I've provided diagrams for each key, mapping out Dorian in several ways across the neck to help you accompany the tracks. Remember that, as Dorian is a mode of the major scale, all the patterns featured here are the same as the major scale pattern, just starting on a different degree. So no need to learn an entirely new pattern for Dorian!

Some Jamming Tips

Think about how the tones of Dorian interact with the chord changes in the track. For example, if we're moving from Dm to G or G7 (a common D Dorian movement), the 6th from our Dorian pattern becomes the 3rd over G - an important chord tone.

To help you navigate through the chord changes, first learn where the related chord shapes (e.g. barre) would be positioned and just strum or pick through those chords. Then try introducing the Dorian patterns around these positions. The chord shapes contain important target tones for your phrases, so try to keep them in mind as you play.

Start with simple, three/four note phrases that lead to a target tone and then work on embellishing the target tones with bends, slides, vibrato etc.

Also think about incorporating arpeggios into your phrases (e.g. as a lead-in or lead-out to a phrase). For Dorian, that could be minor (1  ♭3  5), minor 6th (1  ♭3  5  6) and minor 7th (1  ♭3  5  ♭7).

The good thing about these jam tracks is they give you the opportunity to build up your phrases in layers and in different positions - training your eyes and ears to where and what sounds good. Take your time with it and don't be afraid to experiment and make some mistakes!

Happy jamming!

Dorian Backing Tracks By Key

A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G

A Dorian

Parent Scale:  G Major   |   Notes:  A  B  C  D  E  F♯  G   |   Chords:  Am  Bm  C  D  Em  F♯dim  G

Am Track

Progression Tracks


Note that the "box" tab displays patterns formed around two familiar barre chord positions rooted on the 5th and 6th strings. These are a good starting point for finding your bearings.

Also, don't forget you can combine Dorian with regular minor pentatonic and blues phrases/licks. But I've included some pentatonic patterns more specific to Dorian's flavour to try out.

B Dorian

Parent Scale:  A Major   |   Notes:  B  C♯  D  E  F♯  G♯  A   |   Chords:  Bm  C♯m  D  E  F♯m  G♯dim  A

Bm Track

Progression Tracks


C Dorian

Parent Scale:  B♭ Major   |   Notes:  C  D  E♭  F  G  A  B♭   |   Chords:  Cm  Dm  E♭  F  Gm  Adim  B♭

Cm Track

Progression Tracks


D Dorian

Parent Scale:  C Major   |   Notes:  D  E  F  G  A  B  C   |   Chords:  Dm  Em  F  G  Am  Bdim  C

Dm Track

Progression Tracks


E Dorian

Parent Scale:  D Major   |   Notes:  E  F♯  G  A  B  C♯  D   |   Chords:  Em  F♯m  G  A  Bm  C♯dim  D

Em Track

Progression Tracks


F Dorian

Parent Scale:  E♭ Major   |   Notes:  F  G  A♭  B♭  C  D  E♭   |   Chords:  Fm  Gm  A♭  B♭  Cm  Ddim  E♭

Fm Track

Progression Tracks


G Dorian

Parent Scale:  F Major   |   Notes:  G  A  B♭  C  D  E  F   |   Chords:  Gm  Am  B♭  C  Dm  Edim  F

Gm Track

Progression Tracks


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