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Make Super Groovy Riffs With The Dorian Scale

By Darren DeFranco


Hey guys,

Today we’re looking at the funkier side of classic rock. The Dorian mode can be super groovy and we’ll show you some of the strategies bands have used to write riffs in this mode. Artists from Van Halen to Aerosmith to ACDC have used the Dorian mode in this way and we’ll teach you how today.

Just for reference the E Dorian scale has the notes E F# G A B C# and D. So remember, the main note that distinguishes a Dorian scale from a minor scale is the sharp six, or in this case the C#. So that’s the note you want to emphasize!

Have fun and good luck!


Master the riffs and exercises we gave you and then try to create a riff yourself using the E Dorian mode on the lowest two strings.


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